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About this City Journal

My Journey to Create a SimCity Paris

Entries in this City Journal


Learning the Ropes

So I've been a fan of SimCity since the grand old days of yore, otherwise known as the 1990's. SimCity2000 was a revolution to me, and I spent long nights building my cities. I was so into it, I even purchased the SC2000 strategy guide and read it cover to cover.

Around 2012, I purchased SimCity4 off when the Origin website was running a sale. I installed it, played a few times, then promptly forgot about it. After several years away from the game, I recently rediscovered SimCity at the end of 2014. I got back into playing the game, and went online to see what fabulous new strategies existed, since SC4 was much more intense than my previous SC2000 experience.

How surprised was I to find out that SC4 could not only be modded, but there was still a thriving online following for the game! After much exploring and reading about the mods available, I tried out a few and was pleasantly surprised. These game modders really improved the game and took it much further than Maxis ever had. I promptly installed the much-touted NAM (Network Add-on Mod) and RHW (Real Highway) mods.

Now here was a brand new challenge set before me--mastering the intricacies of building highways and making the Sims use them! After a lot of frustration, demolishing, and rebuilding, I managed to build a decent size city of 150K Sims with a working ring highway. Then I explored adding in railway lines to compliment the highway, and my Sims loved the train. So many possibilities! (I still remembered the days when building a railway in SC2000 would all but bankrupt your city, and few if any Sims cared to use it.)

With the NAM and RHW conquered, I moved on to try out differing garbage solution mods, anti-pollution mods, and modified power plants. So much power! So many praises for my SimMayor! I was thrilled when my cities were becoming large enough in population for brand new, never-before-seen buildings to pop up.

But it wasn't enough...just look at all these blasé Maxis buildings. Another Posh Villa? *yawn* Here comes still one more JEK Equestrian Marketplace? *shakes head* What ELSE can I do to my game?

Then I discovered the vast array of BATs--custom build buildings. And then came the barrage of buildings from my favorite place in the world--Paris! Could it be possible that people were actually recreating entire real-life cities within SimCity? Why, yes, it was not just possible but really happening!

And so I started collecting all the possible bits and pieces to recreate my own Sim version of my favorite city. The list of BATs and mods is long and exhausting. I soon found that for every BAT, there were 1-2, if not 10, required "dependencies", or files to make the BATs render properly.

So far, I have installed a wonderful Paris map by drunkenapple, and several residential/commercial buildings. I decided to start my city in the heart of Paris--the Ile de Cité--and build outwards. I quickly found out that Paris is oriented in such a way that nearly all the buildings and streets sit on a diagonal. So began my adventures with diagonal streets and FAR - fractionally angled roads.

I built a very small part of the Ile, and plopped the pretty Sainte Chapelle (just for kicks). Now I'm gathering further BATs, installing dependencies and working on keeping all of this mish-mash of files organized. It's a very small start, but so much fun!

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