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SimCity 4 is a spreadsheet that will never be balanced, but that’s what makes it so fun, even 14 years after release.
Yesterday, an article about SimCity 4's Network Addon Mod, a comprehensive mod for roads and traffic in SimCity 4, reached the front page of r/Games.”Not only has SimCity 4 survived, it has thrived with new creations offered daily by content-makers, and has even evolved with substantial player-developed modifications like the Network Addon Mod,” author Dirktator wrote. While that’s definitely true, and the thriving mod community for SimCity 4 is a joy to browse through, after playing until two in the morning I can safely say that SimCity 4 also holds up on its own.
Full article: http://kotaku.com/SimCity-4-is-still-great-1796823071
[SOLVED] thanks to @rsc204
So, I'm trying to follow along with How to configure SC4 to work with your new hardware by @Mysteryous.
I have two disc versions of the game. One is SC4 + RH and the other is SC4 Deluxe. My game comps are identical with the exception of the video cards. Relevant specs are:
Dell OptiPlex GX270 2.8 ghz CPU 2 Gig Ram 20 Gig EIDE Hard Drive Windoze XP Pro On the one I call my 1st Dell SC4 Game Comp the video card is:
And its config-log.txt:
The relevant part (I believe) being:
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
Using the same Region in the same City Tile here's what I see when I turn the map:
On the 1st Dell with the 128 mb video card it takes 7 seconds to draw all the trees. I'm assuming that is par for this course considering the antiqueness of the comp and card. However, what has me puzzled is the 2nd Dell has a 256 mb video card and it takes 11 seconds for the same re-draw.
That card is:
So, I tweaked these two files like this:
And here's its config-log.txt
Which shows no Fast anything being applied and the 11 seconds re-draw did not change.
Do I have the code lines wrong or just why is the better card performing slower than the one with half the memory?
Edit: So, I changed the Graphics Rules.sgr line to:
stringMatch cardIdentity "ATI*HD2400*"
And the Video Cards.sgr line to:
card 0x94C4 "VisionTek Radeon HD2400 Pro AGP"
And now I get:
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 ^ for the VisionTek 256 mb card.
Draw speed is now 9 seconds instead of 11, but still slower than the 128 mb card. I guess that's the best I'll get?
So, those FLUPs in NAM really had me confuzzled for a while.
I'm going to attempt a tutorial which I wish I could've found whilst I was having difficulties in learning this concept. I simply don't do well with videos as instructions and all the nicely written tutorials I found have long since lost their pictures. For all the peeps who already know these basic steps I'll ask if I'm over thinking this and how could this be improved. For peeps using NAM for the first time I hope this proves helpful. (I'm using way more pics than is prolly necessary cause I like seeing each actual step and the change which occurs.)
Let's start with the thriving metropolis of First FLUP (Population: 5). It's simply a Road running East/West with a house on the west portion. A Street runs North/South intersecting the Road to the east of the house. At the north end of the Street is a farm.
Using the Route Query tool we see that 2 pedestrians walk to the farm and one freight truck goes south from the farm, turns west, and drives off the map at the Road's neighborhood connection.
What I'm going to do is for a proof of concept rather than a suggestion on city layout. First I bulldozed the Street connections both north and south of the East/West Road. (Bulldoze one tile on either side and leave the Road still fully intact.)
Next I select FLUP from the Transportation Tools / Build Roads menu and hover it over the Road where the intersection used to be. By default it is the Ramp for underground Road.
Now I tap the Tab key until it changes to Diagonal underground route under straight Road. This is a preliminary step to get to what I really want. (This part was not at all intuitive to me.)
Then use the End key until it changes to Straight underground route under straight Road. (It looks like a narrow dirt path running perpendicular to the Road.)
And here it is after plopping. (It now looks like a normal road with the same kind of sidewalks you get next to commercial zoning.)
Going back to the Transportation Tools I select FLUP again. (It's back to the Ramp for underground Road.) I position it one square north of the Road at the south end of the Street in the empty space.
Press Tab key until it changes to Street ramp connecting to underground road.
Press Home key once and it rotates to the proper orientation:
Now click to plop it and we see the Street going down a ramp which looks like it's going under the road.
With this particular FLUP still on the cursor I moved directly south of the Road in the space between the rest of the Street.
At this point I thought I could just use Home or End keys to rotate it into position, but NO, that didn't work. So, I moved south one more tile so it was on top of the Street and then it auto rotated.
Next I moved it back one tile north next to the Road.
And here it is after plopping:
To test that it would actually allow traffic thru, I then connected the east end of the Road with the south end of the Street forming a small square with them:
And using the Route Query tool we see 2 cars and 1 freight truck are now using the FLexible UnderPass.
Edit: Useful tip suggested by @Mandarin(a): Use Shift-Tab to cycle thru the items in reverse order. This is especially useful if you hit Tab too many times and want to go back to a previous option.
Note: This is the ideal part of a community helping each other. I was aware of this, but it did not occur to me to include it when I was writing this guide.
Edit 2: FLUPs can be use as underwater tunnel too. See Ro-Bo's: How to Build Underwater Tunnel Using Flexible Underpasses (FLUPs).
Edit 3: I've added a Tutorial for Road under Rail to this thread. Edit 4: Added Tutorial for Avenue under Rail.
A SimCity 4 Tutorial
Cloud Oriented Region Import Method Adding Painted Streams
In this guide I present a method to create a grayscale image from which to render a random rolling hills terrain map that has water streams and rivers added.
Here's a random sample of a map I created using this method:
Note: The following is merely an alternative method to create a semi-realistic, fictional region map for SC4. Before you waste any time reading this please be aware that the defacto standards for map making are: SC4 Mapper, SC4 Terraformer, and Landscape Designer. Use them if you want something better. Also, as mentioned by @RobertLM78 in a reply in this thread there is another one by Ordio called Simcity 4 Region and Config Creator.
However, many peeps have said they cannot run those programs on later versions of Windoze or other OS's so what I'm presenting here is simply another method by which one can make a decent map with minimal time and effort. I'm using GIMP for this guide because it's free to anyone. Any good image editing program will have the same tools I use in this guide.
The method is quick and easy.
1. Load your SimCity 4 Rush Hour or Deluxe game and create a new region. Name it whatever you want. For this tutorial I'll use Cloud Map. Exit the game, or at a minimum, exit the new region by opening a different region. This is so the existing config.bmp file is not in use.
2. Create a new config.bmp file. For this tutorial mine will be 12x12 pixels. See Config.bmp: How to Make it Yours if you are not already familiar with it.
3. Save that config.bmp into the new region folder you just made. (Overwrite the existing one.)
4. You should now have region.ini and your config.bmp in your new region folder.
Making the Grayscale Image
1. Go outside and take a picture of some clouds.
2. Load the picture into a decent imaging program.
3. [Optional] Crop it if there are cloudless parts you don't want in the image. In Gimp it's the Rectangle Select Tool over in the upper left of the tools box. Or you can press R. Draw a box around the part you want to keep.
Then go to the Image Menu and select Crop to Selection...
4. Scale the image to the appropriate size based on the config.bmp you will be using. As we learned in @Birdin's config.bmp guide we multiply the dimensions of config.bmp by 64 and add 1. So 12 * 64 = 768 + 1 = 769. The height and width are the same since my config.bmp is 12 x 12.
Go to the Image Menu and select Scale Image...
That brings up this Scale Image dialog box. First click the little linked chain to the right of the Width and Height boxes to break the chain. This tells the program that we are not concerned about keeping the cropped selection proportional to the original image. Type in the Width and Height dimensions that you calculated in the beginning of this step. For this tutorial I entered 769 in both boxes. Then click the Scale button.
5. Convert to grayscale. Go to the Image Menu and select Mode --> Grayscale.
6. Export the image as a .Bmp file. Go to the File Menu and select Export As ...
When the export dialog box comes up, look in the lower left for the little bitty plus sign in a box by the Select File Type (By Extension) and click it. That will open up the File Type selection box. Scroll down and click Windows BMP image.
In the upper left in the name box, type in Gray 1 in front of the .bmp. Note only the name portion is pre-highlighted in blue indicating what part to type over. (Brilliant programming imo.) Remember which folder you export (save) the file to. That's indicated by my arrow in this next pic. Mine is going into My Documents. Click the Export Button.
The next dialog box has some options. I simply click the Export Button. (I believe one could select the Run-Length Encoded to reduce the file size. I haven't tested that, so I leave it unchecked.)
And here's what I created:
8. Close all files. I personally do not let it save my original clouds with the cropping and changes so that way I still have my unaltered original.
9. Close your imaging program. (Or if your comp has plenty of memory, just minimize it.)
(These interim steps are what I did when learning. I skip them now I know what I'm doing.)
1. In SimCity 4, open the new region you created. Mine is called Cloud Map.
2. Press the magic key combination of Shift+Ctrl+Alt+r. This brings up the file selection box.
3. Drill down to where you saved your grayscale image file and select Gray 1.bmp then click Ok.
4. Now wait while the map is rendered. You will see Creating New City like this:
And here's our first draft render. Note that it's way too choppy. We will fix that soon. The reason I did this preliminary render is to see what part is water.
Tweaking the Grayscale Image
1. Reopen Gray 1.bmp in your image editor. We will paint in our rivers and streams before we smooth out the rough, choppy bumps. Select the Paintbrush tool and set it to Acrylic 05. Leave the size at 20 point for now. I selected Acrylic cause it adds a random pattern to the edges of what you paint.
2. Click the foreground color selection box. It's right under all the tools on the left. That brings up the Change Foreground Color choices. Type 40 in Red, Green, and Blue. Yes, I already hear peeps saying: Wait, that's too dark. Stay with me on this.
3. Now paint in streams / rivers. A twitchy hand actually improves the realism.
4. Now to smooth out the choppiness of the hills. From the Filters menu select Blur --> Gaussian Blur... This also blends the rivers and streams so that's why I picked color level 40 (which equates to 120 meters height after rendering but doesn't count the blur merging). This'll be an area to experiment on your own based on your original cloud picture.
5. In the next dialog box change the Blur Radius to 10.0. Or pick your own number. Higher numbers means more smoothing and lower ones give less.
6. Export the image as Gray 2.bmp. Here's my new grayscale:
7. And here it is rendered:
The map is now ready to paint trees in game or load your favorite terrain and tree and other landscape related mods. Or, tweak it some more.
1. Let's say I want everything to be a little lower elevation to get a bit more water. From the Colors menu select Levels...
2. Then I adjust the Gamma Level to 0.85. (I derived this number thru trial and error for this particular cloud image.)
3. Here's the new Grayscale image I exported as Gray 3.Bmp:
4. Here it is rendered:
5. And then I painted Maxis trees in every tile:
I've discovered a couple new things. I started with this cloud picture:
Then in GIMP I did the normal stuff outlined above and then I used the Burn Tool to lighten the banks of the rivers:
And I blurred it after that. Here's the grayscale I created:
Another new thing I noticed is having mods for terrain, rocks, water, and beaches already installed means the import rendering colors the region view with them so I don't have to go into each tile to do that. Here it is rendered:
Then I did go in and paint Maxis trees as thick as the program would allow:
^ What I really like is the banks of the rivers seem more realistic to me inasmuch as they show the effect of previous flooding. Also my heavier use of Gaussian Blur means the map is much more friendly when using a slope mod to lay out the transportation network.
Where to go from here
1. You can alter the gray shade of your paintbrush to a lighter one and paint along the sides of the streams to create gentler slopes if you like. It's best to do that before adding the blur cause the blur does a bunch of evening out. (See my edit above. Using the Burn Tool works even better for this.)
2. If your cloud picture has a much lighter blue sky you might want to play with brightness, contrast, or color levels to darken it before for you start any other part of the editing. Use the Color Picker Eyedropper to see what shade any given area in your grayscale is. Providing you have not installed a Height Mod with an alteration to the scale factor and/or sea level, grayscale 83 is slightly below sea level. Lower values are farther under water. Grayscale 84 is slightly above water. Higher values are then higher elevations up to a max of 255 (white).
3. Experiment with various options in the imaging program. Render and see what you get. Learning by doing is loads of fun.
4. Experiment with altering the moisture content as discussed here to change the ground texture appearance.
5. Extract the Terrain Properties exemplar from Simcity_1.dat and play around with the variables there like ImageImportScaleFactor and SeaLevel or the Erosion settings.
Feel free to post your map creations in this thread. Ideally, post both the final grayscale image and then a region screenshot. Reply with what you've discovered that might be useful to other peeps.
This lot has been tested in-game, it was found that at least 2 of them are required to almost completely reduce pollution across a large tile as well as to provide water across a grid of pipes covering the whole tile. It was tested also with the Utility Radius and Traffic Pollution Modd. Use the Data View and Cheetah Speed to monitor changes in water supply, air and water pollution. The pump is programmed to consume a very small amount of water so plop the pump in a non-polluted area as tests indicate it will not immediately clean its own base area and may fail to operate.
Location: Water Menu under Utilities Menu, and Power Menu for 1x1 Generator
You must connect both the large water pump and the sewage treatment connectors to realize both the effect of the radical volume of water and the treatment. The large water pump is the re-lot that will appear in the water utilities. The dual purpose is combined into one lot with its own unique menu icon.
Lot Size: 5 (width) by 6 (depth)
Water Produced and Treated: 1,000,000 cubic meters per hour.
Pollution Reduction: -1200 over 300
Plop Cost: 25,000§
Maintenance Cost: 10§
Jobs: 15§, 290§§, 15§§§
Moderate Landmark and Park Effect.
Transit and Network Enabled
Power Consumed: 200 MWh (megawatt hours)
Dependency: Included base texture .dat file.
FOLDER: Radical Water Pump and Pollution Reduction V1
File: List of Alternate Water Systems.txt
File: Preview and Install.html
SUB-FOLDER: Radical Water Pump and Pollution Reduction
This is the folder inside the unzipped title folder to be placed in your User\Documents\SimCity 4\ Plugins folder. It contains 2 files: 1. the Radical_Water_Pump.SC4Lot, and 2. the BaseTexturesElements_RadicalWaterPump.dat file with base textures extracted from my Vol.1 Base Textures Elements package. If you use the larger package then delete the smaller .dat file included as the textures don't need to be loaded twice. The larger package is linked below:
Base Textures Vol 1.1: Elements, for SC4 1.1.0
SUB-FOLDER: 500 MWh Power Generator 1x1
I've added a 1x1 lot to generate power for the water pump. If you use the Data View Moisture Mod to locate a high volume of water it may be in a remote area, otherwise a non-polluted area may also be in a remote area. The power generator is equal to 2½ times the wind power plant.
The 2nd preview shows the progressive reduction of air pollution; the reduction of water pollution is about the same. The test city has 2 heavy industry areas and congested traffic generating severe pollution over the entire tile. A third radical water pump would completely eliminate both across the entire tile.
The 3rd preview shows at bottom Cori's Data View of Moisture mod which uses the radiation data view to show changes in moisture from rainfall. In more complicated terrain the moisture data view is useful to see where to place water pumps which depend on aquifers. The mod is linked below:
Cori's DataView - Moisture v 2017.01.22 by @CorinaMarie
The top 2 frames show the progressive increase of water-flow over the entire tile. Water pipes are tedious to place in large tiles requiring about a 30x30 grid. To make the task of watering the tile easier use the Utility Radius and Traffic Pollution Reduction Modd by RalphaelNinja linked below:
UtilityRadius TrafPollution Modd by @RalphaelNinja
The last preview is of this .SC4Lot in production in the Lot Editor for anyone who has enjoyed using SC4 as a design tool, creating .SC4 city tiles, and who may be considering taking the next step of creating .SC4Lot files. Using Lot Editor is not much more complicated. Below is the tutorial that got me started almost a year ago.
Lot Editor: Beginner's Tutorial by @jbbry232
To install copy and paste the Radical Water Pump and Pollution Reduction folder into your User\Documents \SimCity 4\Plugins folder.
To also install the power generator copy and paste the 500 MWh Power Generator 1x1 folder into the folder above.
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