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  1. 39 likes
    Hello simtropolis, it's been awhile but after a long adjournment I'm finally back with some new content. For those who many not be aware back in October my SC4(and windows) hard drive(SSD) crashed. This eliminated everything I had created after entry 35 on this Journal. Feb 2016 was the last time I backed everything up(plugins, cities, pictures, etc) on a separate hard drive. Foolish, I know. It's not that I overlooked the possibility of a hard drive crash, in fact all my important personal stuff is backed up on separate drive and some of that is even backed up a second time on bluray discs. I backed my SC4 cities on weekly basis but for some strange reason at some point in time, I can't recall why (or understand), I moved that backup folder onto the SSD drive. So while I was still well prepared for save file corruption I was not prepared for hard drive corruption. The rest of what follows would probably qualify as TMI so I've have put it in spoilers since most of it is not exactly SC4 related and it kind of bogs down this entry. Most of you are understandably here for pics so this way you can get right to them. Note; Entry number 43 is reserved as a placeholder in case I'm one day able to recover the data that was meant to be shown in that entry. Now onto today's subject matter which will cover what is probably going to be the largest and most complicated interchange in the entire region of Pretoria - The 5 Point's Interchange. This interchange is located in the City of Calgon which is just west of Baycole and north of Dresden. It think I came up with the name Calgon from Calgary, but at this point I can't remember The interchange is the junction between Highways 700, 702 & 707 and as it's name suggests it is a 5 way interchange. This is the first RHW rebuild of this interchange. I say first because there is a second rebuild of the interchange which features no tunnels and is much more streamlined in appearance. But it's so different from this one that it's basically an entirely different interchange and this version is so massive that it would be a shame to not showcase it. edit* For a better understanding of the network I'm adding the regional highway map here; This entry was incredibly difficult to make. It seems the save file for the city is highly unstable/incompatible with my current plugins folder or something. In the process of rebuilding this interchange the game crashed about 50 or so times in the last several weeks which severely hampered my progress. I've encounter errors and crashes which I had never seen or even heard about before. The numerous ways the game crashed on me are listed below, I've also placed this in the spoiler to shorten the dialog that is relevant to the point of this entry; So where to begin with this one... how about with a map of the entire interchange and how it compares to the previous record holder of the title of the regions largest interchange - Spaghetti Junction. All maps are the exact same scale. Spaghetti Junction(newest & more compact version) vs 5 points. And the old Spaghetti Junction which was larger vs 5 points vs The 5 points <---- is north One of the reasons why creating maps of interchanges interest me so much is long ago even well before I ever played sim city when I was maybe 10 year old I was completely mesmerized by city maps and the most interesting part of those city maps were where all those squiggly and curved lines which converged in tiny areas - interchanges. Afterword I would create random huge interchange designs on paper, wish I still had those but they disappeared long ago most likely throw away as junk by my parents Ok let's go through the interchange from south to north starting from the 702 Northbound at the south portal. Highway 702 comes from Dresden and the South Shore borough of Pretoria. There is also one other(very large) interchange between the 5 Points and Dresden in Calgon that I'll show later. The 702 is highly congested at this point being only 4 lanes across. In the final version of 5 points this section has been upgrade to 6 lanes. The Fastraxx ME(Middle East) Commuter Rail line can be see at the top running underneath the highway in a tunnel before reaching Calgon (Central) Station while the L(Loop) line runs over the highway at the bottom of the image. For a refresher on commuter rail the network click HERE. Meanwhile ICR's freight line is on the right hand side of this image. Now here is where things start to get messy. The first lane at the top of the image is a local off ramp from the 702. Next is the EB 707 to SB 702 ramp. Then a local on-ramp, followed by 4 lanes of the 702 itself, then the NB 702 to EB 700/707 & NB 707 ramp and then finally a local off ramp. 4. (note: image number count does not include the road maps) The next off ramp is the NB 702 to WB 707 which takes you directly into downtown Calgon. Overview of the Southern portal to the interchange. 7. 8. The NB 702 to WB 700 ramp is the tallest ramp in the interchange and is 45m/148ft above the lowest part of the interchange about 50m/164ft above the lowest tunnel. 9. Crossing over the 700 Overview of the Eastern portal of the interchange. The 700/707 is up to 13 lanes wide in this section and from here continues on to Spaghetti Junction in Lindin City. Next we come to my favorite portion of the interchange, the central section. This maps shows the 7 levels of the interchange + arguably a 8th level for one of the tunnels. What little help this may be, it explains the purpose of each overhead ramps and the routing of the tunnels which are functional for cars and buses but not trucks. Yup it's a little on the complicated side 12. 13. 7 levels of interchange in one image. Can you make out all the height transitions in there? Hint; there's 13 Moving further north we get to the point where the 700 crosses over the 702 And then we get to the second big section of cluster of ramps. I'm not sure it would help to talk about which ramp goes where, probably best just to look at panoramic shots at the bottom of the entry to make sense of it all. 17. 18. The 700 crossing over the 3 rail lines with exit ramps going both over and under it, one of my favorite images 19. This would be the western portal of the interchange. Back to the 702 which now turns into a collector/express highway system. 22. This leads us to the final part of the interchange the northern gate and the boundary to Astoria, which takes us to the downtown area of Pretoria. 24. 25. Aside from those sharp level 3 RHW curves, which hopefully will be smooth out in the future, I'm quite satisfied with the look and compactness of this section. 27. You may have noticed a few other unusual things up there and kudos to you if you noticed all four The most obvious one is probably that one way bridge in there which might seem odd because it looks a little different from the rhw roads above and below it. I could of used a rhw overpass but then there wouldn't have been enough space to transition into the one-way road tunnel. I suppose I could of just built the rhw bridge just for eye candy purposes but I wanted to show the interchange in it's functional configuration. That is every path is usable by sims, although I'm having a heck of a time trying to get them to take some of those paths, seems they'd rather be stuck in traffic on local roads then take the express out of town. I had to use a subway portal where the level 3 RHW crosses the the 3 railway tracks. It might look a little strange but it's much better than the alternative. Seems the level 3 RHW can't cross over 3 consecutive rail lines, it drops to a ground level crossing for the one in the middle which would of course look ridiculous. Meanwhile the subway portal ensure functionality on the railway line in the middle since passenger trains can turn into subway turns and vice versa without issue. The freight line on the top remains functional as well. It was very difficult to create this interchange because of all the grade changes over it's length, which resulted in the irregular ripples on the maxis highway curve. For those who don't know grade changes and the RHW go together like oil and water, thankfully with each version of the NAM terrain stability continues to improve. The original footprint of the maxis interchange that came before was much smaller so the city was originally built without realizing that one day I would need much more space for an interchange. For the final version of the 5 points I'm building I completely leveled out the terrain and started from scratch againt to build a fully accessible version without the use of tunnels. Lastly I had to use one of the old 45 degree flex fly ramps because the new piece is one zone large(5x5 as opposed to 4x4). That tiny little difference would otherwise have resulted in major changes to the interchange and a large expansion of its overall footprint. I know many rhw users might of been fine with that since highway interchange are space consuming objects, but I pride myself on building the tightest possible interchange while using smooth curves and transitions as much as possible. I had to modify the NAM files in order for this legacy piece to still show up in game. While I can't plop them anymore they won't disappear, which is what would happen if I didn't modify the file and more importantly they are still completely functional. Next a few night shots to show that there is sufficient lighting around the interchange. Even though you may not know how to get to where you want to be you can at least see where your going! 29. 30. 30. 31. Now time for a little something I call the "eye spy" section... Let me know if you like this new section. 33. 34. 35. And finally, of course the mosaics. For reference sake I put the the original maxis version of the interchange that I set out to replace long ago in the spoilers below. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. Forgot to add the interchange Stats!Levels - 4All Highways total entrance lanes - 41Bridge Structures - 15Total Crossings, time sa highway ramp crosses another - 37(not including tunnels)Tunnels - 5Ramps - 26 FlexFly Ramps - 8 (2 - 90 degree/6 - 45 degree)Height Transitions - 33 Thanks for stopping by, it feels good to get the CJ up and running again.
  2. 28 likes
    As part of the upcoming Trixie Season, the Staff team have been interviewing various prominent members of the community and asking them about their favorite STEX files and City Journals over the past two years, inspriation and creative workflow, along with life outside of Simtropolis. So without further ado, please welcome our third guest: An Interview with RSC204 Hi @rsc204, how are you today? (MGB204 on SC4D) Hello Hamish, I'm well thanks. What is your earliest memory of simcity? That would have to be the Super Nintendo (SNES) version of the original. I still have that along with it's original save files too. My parents were dead set against me having a computer as a child, so until I could afford my own, I never had access to one. Later when I did get a PC, I played the sequel SC2000, but I found it hard to balance the needs of the simulator and never really got into it. After a nasty car accident about 10 years ago, I was laid up for a while with an old laptop. This time round I managed to get on top of the simulation side, but all too quickly felt I'd done all you could do with the game. I've always been able to sink lots of time into simulators, I like the open-ended nature of them. But SC4 was simply off my radar until about 4-5 years ago. Then I found mods, next thing you know I'm so busy making mods, I barely play the game anymore. Has this game helped inspire you at all in real life endeavours? Perhaps a little, I keep looking at the world and trying to think of it in SimCity. But mostly, modding SC4 has unlocked some skills, especially more artistically based, that I never would have thought possible. That said, to date those skills haven't really found a real-world application outside of my modding activities. Content comes in many shapes and sizes. What do you look for when seeking new STEX items to download? My long term goal is to make a modern UK-themed region, I'm nothing like there after many years of hard work though. So if a building or mod comes along that fits that theme, it becomes a must have download. I'm also focussed on aesthetics, I like everything to blend in together too. Any mod that either improves the content of the vanilla game, especially replacement HD props is useful to me. But being able to mod, what's more important is usually the models themselves. I can always customise anything I find to work as desired. I probably don't do as much downloading/installing of mods as you might think. I'm running a tight ship where my plugins folder is concerned. Occasionally, I enjoy playing regions without worrying too much about custom content too. It's a little freeing to not have to try and find the perfect buildings all the time. Which is the very problem that keeps me modding, rather than playing. But I hope one day I'll get past this and be able to enjoy the game more. I'm in no rush, there is nothing out there that can come close to the longevity and flexibility SC4 offers. You've made some pretty amazing mods, most recently ones which unify ground texture under NAM pieces. What inspires you to create these mods? When I first started getting into modding, I really disliked the Maxis Sidewalks. They probably fit the San Francisco theme of the game, but were not for me. So I installed a sidewalk mod, but hated the contrast between a custom sidewalk and the Maxis ones. They just stand out, there is no way to hide them or make them work together. A similar thing happened when I started using HD Terrain mods. Gobias' excellent Berner Oberland terrain came with the grass-equivalent of a sidewalk mod. But whilst I really liked what it did, I intensely disliked the mis-match of textures it left behind. In both areas, I've been working to unify together a complete set of Sidewalk and Grass textures, which are the main component of both my SEN (SWN) and TGN mods. How much work goes into something like this which, on the surface, seems so simple? Simply put a hideous amount. I don't exactly make things easy for myself either. I think part of my philosophy of trying to give back where I can, does add to the development process. I don't simply make these mods thinking about my game only. I try to make something that can be reused and is as flexible as possible. I'm also very picky, I spend a lot of time trying to ensure I've not missed a single texture and testing everything until I'm satisfied there are no problems or missing pieces. Of course, there is always something else to add, not to mention updates to cover new releases along the way. It's probably very easy to miss just how comprehensive both mods are, no similar mod even gets close to the level of coverage I've achieved. From the beginning, I made huge efforts to automate as much as possible. But due to the ever-improving tools I helped develop with @rivit (GoFSH), I must have restarted this process 2 or 3 times over now. I simply can not go on without mentioning both @memo and @rivit in respect of TGN. Without Memo's tool I originally used to make v1, TGN simply would never have existed. Likewise, 6 months of intensive development work together with Rivit has transformed the possibilities on offer. He was always the brains behind how to do most things. But provided assistance countless times and was very open to feedback on new features and changes. In fact, that's still evolving, so keep an eye out for the next iteration, I'm genuinely excited by what we're cooking up behind the scenes. All told, it probably runs into hundreds, if not thousands of hours, not that I've been keeping a record. But I'm slowly getting to the point where I can sit back and simply maintain the repositories that make these mods happen, the bulk of the work is almost complete. When I get there, that will be a very good day. But the real goal here, is that hopefully my work will have solved the issue of mis-matching textures for everyone. It's not all about textures... If you'll indulge me with a little self-promotion however, I would briefly like to talk about my non-texture work. I keep saying I'm done with texturing, because that's really only a small part of what I'm doing, even if it's probably the most well known. I started learning how to make models in 2015, with my first release being some simple pedestrian bridges. But I'm really very proud of both my Rail Depot and Convenience Store models. Both of which took a very long time to complete, partially because I'm very picky, but also because I'm still learning how to make textures. I also managed to make a small but significant addon for CALs re-mastered SG Canals. Matching up the textures took an extraordinary effort, to the point of finding archaic versions of 3DS Max/BAT4Max to match the textures. But the simple eight additional pieces that produced have brought about a renascence for me and using canals. Being stuck to the grid in 2016 is really a turn off for me, so that was another creation I feel really satisfied with. 2015: 2016: You've also made some great additions to the NAM, what's it like working with this team? Mostly until now I've been helping by contributing fixes/patches and helping out with support for users. I also try where possible to assist my team-mates, adding EU and LHD compatibility. Having access to certain information that would otherwise be off limits sure is useful. Alex's ( @Tarkus) long term commitment to all things SC4, unwavering patience and complete understanding of the underpinnings of the game, makes him a great ambassador. Working alongside him and the other team members is a real privilege. Not to mention the countless ways that being part of the team has allowed me to improve my modding skills. I was very pleased to bring the MHO refresh as part of NAM35, that really felt like my first solid contribution to the mod. It's another of those very long projects I seem to find myself taking on. My next goal is bringing everyone a completely new SAMmod for NAM36, the IndustrieSAM network. This is already mostly finished, but will represent a major contribution in terms of code for the first time. It's another accomplishment that I couldn't have realised, without the selfless help of my team mates. While the NAM Team is probably the biggest team of content creators, are there any other teams which you follow which you must download any creation they put out? Sadly there aren't so many active teams these days, so you've posed a bit of a tricky one there. If there was one team where I could say I'd grab every release without hesitation, that would have to be the VIP team. Although these days, that tends to be mostly the work of @Girafe. I'm a sucker for high-quality HD content and the VIP team made some of the best props/models out there. Girafe's flora is always a welcome addition and I use it whenever my lots/mods need some greenery. Outside of this genre, Transit mods, what is a work you have been very impressed with which is thematically at opposite ends to your style? Whilst it's not really the sort of thing I have much use for, I'd have to single out the excellent quality ChryslerBuilding by @Reddonquixote here. http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=3326 Seeing the development and the final renders, just felt like a new bar had been set for the quality of SC4 buildings. From the gorgeous metallic effect on the spire, to the unbelievable nightlighting and supremely detailed facade, it just oozes quality through and through. Yet, I don't think I've ever plopped it in game, I should rectify that. What would be the most substantial project that has left a meaningful impression on you from the past two years? Why is that? Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference. @ILL Tonkso created so many models, for anyone wanting to make UK cities, it's a real treasure trove of must have content. Not all of it has stood the test of time so well, but @kingofsimcity's re-lots have utterly transformed many of these models. Giving them the sort of environment (lot) that finally does justice to them. Add to that his work on the parking textures and smart use of modular complexes and you end up with some hugely visually appealing content. For example, using just one of those buildings, a fairly generic office, KOSC lotted a huge number of variations. This makes these lots really usable without ever feeling too repetitive. Link to KOSC's content... http://community.simtropolis.com/profile/33566-kingofsimcity/?do=content&type=downloads_file&change_section=1 If asked to pick a couple other specific lots, I guess these would be my favourites (all from 2015): Tell us one of your favourite pieces from the STEX in 2015 and 2016 and explain what it is about and why this is your favourite piece? 2015 In 2015, whilst perhaps not an obvious choice, it would have to be @simmaster07's SC4Fix.dll for me. As someone with a good technical knowledge, seeing this bug squashed was really quite astonishing, it was one of those things thought of as impossible. Then out of nowhere, along comes this fix, which personally has made playing SC4 so much better. I can't tell you how many times I fell foul to the CTD, being a big user of much NAM content. On many occasions, I lost a lot of work too. But since this was released, my game simply never crashes and is totally stable. As such, this was my favourite mod from 2015. 2016 For 2016, I wasn't able to decide on one clear winner, both of these little gems not only conform to my UK theme, but are of outstanding quality too. First is @Bombardiere's Clerkenwell Close buildings. Quintessentially British, with superb texturing and modded to be very flexible, it ticks all my boxes for a great download. Partially it's my love of the golden age of Steam Trains, but also partially because it's the Flying Scotsman (do I need explain that?). Both of these great mods, whilst being of a more historical nature, are completely usable in a modern environment too. I am simply unable to choose between them, sorry. Simtropolis is organized into ‘player' and ‘builder' categories. Regarding the ‘player' section, do you have any favourite CJers that you enjoy following? And what piece of content from them in the past two years would you recommend to others? I must be honest and confess I don't really get into the CJ section as much as I perhaps should. I do try to follow a number of CJs however and have been impressed with the work of @Dreadnought's Jade Bight series. His attention to detail is up there with the best of them. @Ln X(my SC4 Scrapbook), @Belfastsocrates (The Viceroyalty of Perseus) and @_Michael (Mikenstein) are three other CJs I always enjoy seeing updates for. Mainly because I feel they all have a coherent style that inspires me to create things for my own game. Who is an up-and-coming member that we should look out for next year? Although releasing models since early 2016, I will be keeping an eye out for more models from @Aarsgevogelte. In a short space of time, the quality of his releases have improved greatly, along with a frequent supply of new buildings. Most of them fit well in all European environments too. Lastly, What has been one of your favourite Simtropolis moments? Now you've really got me thinking, I see why you left that one for last... Since there isn't a single instance that comes to mind, I think I'll have to wriggle out of it with a more general answer. Being part of Simtropolis is in and of itself a wonderful experience. I enjoy trying to help others, but have too received my share of assistance. It's a real community that has been instrumental to keeping a game I genuinely love alive all these years. Once more it's a privilege to be a part of something like ST, a place where anyone can come and join in our passion for SC4 and city building. Thank you for joining us today RSC204, here's to a great Trixies
  3. 26 likes
    As part of the upcoming Trixie Season, the Staff team have been interviewing various prominent members of the community and asking them about their favorite STEX files and City Journals over the past two years, inspriation and creative workflow, along with life outside of Simtropolis. So without further ado, please welcome our next guest: An Interview with Takingyouthere Hi @Takingyouthere, how are you? I'm doing great, thanks for asking. We all have our own unique Simtropolis story. How did you first discover this community? I can't recall the specifics as it's been 12 years and 9 months since I joined the site, but I'm pretty sure I found Simtropolis through a link on the maxis simcity 4 site. Back then there were quite a few more active sites than today but Simtropolis has always stood out as one of the best. How was it that you first came across the SimCity franchise? The first Sim City I played was the original on the Nintendo platform. Even though I was just a little kid who didn't know the first thing about real world city building I somehow became completely enthralled with a game about city building. I still remember building up the old island map from the game over and over again, each time trying to set a new high mark in population;image credit; http://www.simcity.com/en_US/blog/article/Data-Maps-in-SimCity-Part-1 What have been some of your favourite Simtropolis moments? As a highway aficionado the NAM releases are always a big deal for me and release 34 with it's additional flexfly pieces was probably the most exciting release. On a personal note entry 25 of my CJ published last Jan 4th was quite the watershed moment for me, I couldn't believe the community response at that time which was a great source of motivation going forward. As well as when I finally released the HD versions from that niche project of mine, the Towers of Steel(fyi the supertalls are coming!) How would you introduce your work to anybody who's new to it? The easiest and quickest way would be to take a look at my city journal. If I had to narrow it down I would recommend entries 32, 34, 35, 40 & 41 each one of which shows examples of; my urban city building from close up and afar, transportation networks, industry and landscape work. For a really quick introduction here's three pictures which sums it up best; What are the steps in your creative process? The creative process for me begins at the regional level. The first step is to figure out a rough estimation of the paths the road and railway networks will take as they meander across the landscape. I don't like simple grid patterns and instead I build my networks more organically and have them 'follow the terrain'. Next I determine the type of development which will be built in specific areas, starting off with large scale infrastructure projects such as power plants and continuing down what types of zoning will be built in each city tile. When I start an individual city tile the process is more or less the same. Determine the optimal routing for highways, roadways, railways and other kinds of networks like hydro corridors, this all comes first. After that is done I place all the institutional buildings which are necessary to help the city grow and function properly eg. hospitals, schools, police, etc. This is then followed by the zoning itself. I've really never been interested in intentionally making it difficult for my cities to grow. I like them to build as easily as possible and not have buildings abandon afterwards. The problem that I'm most interested in solving is figuring out how to get people from point A to point B and this is in fact what I do for a living as a commuter train operator. Unfortunately Sim City 4 is rather limited in realistically simulating real world travel patterns. Some areas end up being overbuild and some underbuilt in regards to the traffic they should have in game. From then on I continue to make adjustments to each network while trying to do everything I can to get sims to use what is available to them. Aside from mmp placement almost everything I do in game serves a functional purpose. I don't want to build a city that is just eye candy alone, it has to be a living and breathing functional entry. At the same time though building placement is very important to me from an aesthetic perspective as well. I'll let things grow organically for a while and see what pops up, but it's rare that I'm ever satisfied with the 'look' of whats been grown. In fact most of my commercial and industrial areas are predominately plopped and I would do the same for residential development if only sims could travel in and out of them. I prefer to be entirely in control of all developments much in the same way as how a real world city council or planning department approves and rejects what kinds of development and what density can be built in any particular location. This comes from being a architectural aficionado and in fact before I switched careers I had want to be an architect. I also used to be a very active member of a site called urbantoronto where I used to have prolonged discussions for hours on end about the architectural merits of individual buildings. It's only once all the functional aspects of the city are complete that I'll focus on the last step which is beautifying it with mmp's. You usually create metropolitan style CJs, what other members are creating similar CJs to yours? How does this competition in your genre help develop your own work? And which piece of their work has inspired you in the past two years? There are quite a few other members who also build similar types of urban environments. I think I've probably taken ques & inspiration from nearly all of them at one time or another. I could easily name a dozen or more but in the interest of brevity I'll limit my answer to three examples which focus on what are my favorite types of things to create in game; mmp work, industrial zones & transportation networks. I guess that was kind of obvious for anyone who follows my work I've taken a lot of inspiration last year from @Akallan's R.C.D & Phoenix Project when it comes to landscaping and mmp usage. His work in the genre is simply fantastic and just as great is his willingness to help others in creating their own meticulously landscaped scene. There's many examples of his superb work which I could link to but the one that I think which best highlights his creative ingenuity is Eréphore - Pt. I @Ln X's My SC4 CJ scrapbook has been an invaluable source when its come to creating large-scale industrial zones especially in the earlier days of my CJ when I didn't have the best understanding of scale. Broadsville's Industry part 1 & 2 for instance really opened my eyes up to what was possible with industry; For transportation I highly recommend taking a look at @kingofsimcity's Exploring Onyx. For members who are trying to create more realistic highway networks look no further than Arcadia Metro I & II - that is what it should look like. Also his prodigious use of angled roads continues to inspires me to incorporate more in my own work. What advice would you give to a custom content newcomer, who was planning on creating their first item? In regards to BATing, I would recommend using 3ds max from the get go. Gmax is easier to use and render your work with but it generally doesn't produce the level of quality that SC4 players expect from custom models today. 3ds has a much longer learning curve but if your having difficulties I would recommend starting a BAT thread, you'll be amazed at how supportive other members of simtropolis can be. Tell us one of your favourite pieces from the STEX in 2015 and 2016 and explain what it is about and why this is your favourite piece? There are a number of very high quality BAT's that have been released over that time which makes this a difficult question to answer. My favorite would probably be Solar das Paineiras by @JP Schriefer image credit; JP Schriefer It's not a well-known building but I choose it for two reasons. First the model and textures used are incredibly detailed. For instance you can clearly see the detailed brickwork on the facade of the building. Secondly, as a art-deco & postmodernism aficionado this type of building style really appeals to me, that is buildings that make use of set backs, solid building surfaces i.e brick & stone and a combination of well integrated and varied building elements, all of which appeals to me which is also why I'm particularly fond of most of JP's releases. What's a quality piece of work from the last two years which you think has been overlooked? I'll go with a @Simmer2 creation here, some of which haven't gotten as much screen time as they deserve. In particular the SM2 Gogar Tram Depot really stands out with an excellent combination of textures and models laid out over a realistically sized lot(real world). Who is an up-and-coming member that we should look out for next year? A few members that haven't been too active on the site yet but who's work shown so far has been excellent are @Mańkowsky, @Artimus, @antsel & @Krisman. You've had a successful year as an entrant in the Simtropolis Challenges, has there been images from other members which have just stunned you? Has there been images which are so different to your usual play style which you think you just couldn't recreate if you tired? I haven't been following some of the more recent competitions but here's one from a little while back which fascinated me; Plantation Metropolis Regional Night View by @pcwhiz24 On top of being a well designed and great looking road & highway network I'm still in awe of how he got the highways to light up just perfectly like that. Finally, if you had to choose, would you rather fight a one horse sized duck, or a hundred duck sized horses? I first read that as one house sized duck!! But even still a horse is pretty damn big. As long as there's no time limit, I'll take the one hundred duck sized horses please! I know I wouldn’t want to face a house sized duck, thats for sure! Thanks for your time, can't wait for the trixies! Likewise and thanks again for having me
  4. 24 likes
    Hello again, everyone! This week is my final week at the university (finally) so I decided to leave you a little departing gift as I don't know if I will be able to get back alive hahaha. I hope you guys understand why I'm in such a hurry and don't answer your posts as I used to do. Anyways, I hope you enjoy it! It's a medium-wealth medium-density residential building. It's almost done but it's, nevertheless, a W.I.P Thank you very much for stopping by, guys! I hope to sou you all again here!
  5. 21 likes
    As part of the upcoming Trixie Season, the Staff team have been interviewing various prominent members of the community and asking them about their favorite STEX files and City Journals over the past two years, inspriation and creative workflow, along with life outside of Simtropolis. So without further ado, please welcome our third guest: An Interview with Korver Thank you very much for taking part in this interview korver. Sure We all have our own unique Simtropolis story. How did you first discover this community? I first found out about ST actually back in late 2009. I finally got a computer that could play SC4 (I was playing SC3KU before then), so one of the first things I did was buy it and see what it was all about. I wasn't too impressed with the graphics at first.. well, until I discovered ST and started seeing all of the stuff people were making. Once I downloaded skyscraper's Burj Dubai.. I was instantly hooked. For a while, at least. I was off and on with the game over the next couple years, slowly improving my skills, but never really accomplishing a whole lot. Finally, towards the beginning of 2016 I rediscovered ST/SC4 and started to take it seriously for once. I finally built up enough courage to start a CJ, something I always thought about, but never thought I would be able to do. What areas of the site do you tend to visit most frequently? Currently, I tend to visit the CJ section the most, constantly seeing what everyone's up to and on the lookout for inspiration. I still browse the forums regularly - I used to participate more actively, but then RL and my CJ started eating up more time so I slowly became more of a lurker. I hope to become more active in 2017. You usually create amazing realistic CJ entries. Outside of this genre, what is a work you have been very impressed with which is thematically at opposite ends to your style? One very unique CJ which I have been very impressed with has been Utopolist's CJ "Utopolis". It's one of a kind, creating truly unique surrealistic scenes through SC4 and PS. Sometimes you don't really know what's going on, but that's the fun of it. You really have to think about each picture he makes and what it might possibly represent. What are the steps in your creative process? The first step for me is to pick out a scene that I think is going to be visually interesting. Usually, I want to pick out something that hasn't been done before, or will make the viewer say "wow!". So I'll do some research, digging through atlases, online lists, and then try to pick out the best scenes possible. From there, it's a matter of trying to recapture that feeling in the game, which can be difficult. Nature scenes are generally easier, as it's usually a bunch of MMPing. City scenes are much more of a time sink, as everything I do is custom lotted to ensure the highest level of realism possible in SC4. Some things like people and cars occasionally are MMPed after the fact, but generally the rest is lotted. After that, I'll make some adjustments in PS to make it seem more authentic and to bring it to life even more. Your work is a source of inspiration for many. Who’s work inspires you? I take my inspiration from many. It's something that I do in all phases of my life - I start off by doing some serious research, seeing who's the best in each aspect of whatever, and then putting my own spin on it in the end. So for SC4, that means my lotting is being inspired by the likes of Badsim, elavery, & Bastet. My MMPing is inspired by Yan077, Benoit, and Ln X. My photoshop is inspired by Huston, MilitantRadical, and marsh. So on and so forth. But.. If I had to choose one name, i'd have to go with SimHoTToDDy. His SBU is still one of my favorite CJs ever - everything in that CJ simply seemed to come together perfectly. What advice would you give to a CJ newcomer, who was planning on creating their CJ? I can think of two pieces of advice that really stand out to me above the rest. The first being, don't get too ahead of yourself. I actually struggled with this concept for many years. I'd always download entire region maps and try to complete it all, or make a recreation of an entire country, etc or something similarly overwhelming. As a result, I got very little done and it really slowed down my progression. Now, I just make recreations of smaller scenes (Well, except for Sydney, but I only did it once I knew I was capable of something like that), and it works out great for me. My second piece of advice would be to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Do something really unique and interesting, I think this is one of the best ways for people to really notice your work. So overall, it's all about finding that fine line between constantly pushing yourself, and not overdoing it. Tell us one of your favourite pieces from the STEX in 2015 and 2016 and explain what it is about and why this is your favourite piece? Favorite from 2016: Heblem made a surprise appearance in 2016, and this building was well worth the wait. It's truly one of the most detailed, beautiful, and majestic looking buildings I've ever seen before on the STEX. Few buildings take your breath away when you first see them, but this is certainly one of them. Favorite from 2015: To me, this building was certainly the best of 2015. First off, it was in production for over 2 years and went through a number of revisions to make it absolutely perfect. But that final rendering time though, 332 hours! Now that's some real dedication. Not to mention some of the best nightlights I've ever seen before on a BAT. I just hope one day I'll be able to put it to good use in an update! What's a quality piece of work on the STEX from the last two years which you think has been overlooked? I'd have to go with Flunight Props Vol 01 MMP. For the longest time, Girafe has supplied us with great deciduous MMPs, but there hasn't been the same level of quality and variety when it comes to tropical MMPs. This pack changed all of that, and I've been using it extensively since it was released back in late May. Has anyone's content surprised you from the last two years? In what way was this a surprise? I think the biggest surprise to me was seeing the progression of Akallan's work in his CJ, "Phoenix Project". From the summer until the end of the year, it was truly amazing to watch how fast he progressed and how realistic his scenes got. It takes most people many years to become that talented with MMPs, and he got there in a couple of months. He sorta came out of nowhere and now has one of the best CJs on ST, in my opinion. Who is an up-and-coming member that we should look out for next year? I'd probably go with Krisman here. I'm a obviously big fan of custom lotted cities, and I think he produces some of the best ones here on ST. He produced a string of very detailed updates towards the end of 2016 in his CJ "Principauté de Caravella-Guatalaga", and if he keeps it up in 2017 he could have a big year. What are your favourite Simtropolis moments? For me, my favorite moments are always seeing the comments and support I get after working really hard putting together an entry for my CJ. It really motivates me and makes the whole process worth it. Thank you again for taking part in this Korver! I wish you the best! Same to you, and thanks for letting me take part in this interview! I hope you enjoyed reading this interview - We can assure you there will be more to come during the build-up! - _Michael, Staff and Trixie Team
  6. 20 likes

    Version 1.0.0


    A huge thanks to @SimGoober and Callagrafx for releasing their resources for the canals, without which these pieces would not have been possible. I also need to give a shout out to @mattb325, who gave me six of the model files, saving a lot of additional work re-making them once more. Included in this download are eight new lots. A base diagonal piece, diagonal top or CAP piece, along with six transitions from Ortho to the Diagonal canals. You will find these lots just after the original CAL canal pieces, in the parks menu. They are modded and lotted to match the original set. It's imperative that you have the original Base Set by CAL, along with any cascading dependencies installed for these to function correctly. Find the base set here: http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=979 That's really all there is to say here. Hopefully these lots will be a useful addition to your canal networks. Enjoy .
  7. 19 likes
    Isomatric camera downtown. (Eat your heart out SC4). (Yes, there's lots of non workshop content.)
  8. 19 likes

    Version 1.0.0


    Rural Docklands Expansion 36 Lots to expand the Rural Docklands Warning The original Rural Docklands Sets I and II by Doc Rorlach(†) requires 11 Dependencies. This expansion set requires additional 11 Dependencies. So if you never used the Rural Docklands before you might end up with 22 Dependencies to download. Basic Information This product enlarges the Dural Docklands with 3 and 4 tiles deep lots and quite a few corner lots to build up an industrial water front. There are no container ports related lots in this set. You can find many of them already on the STEX. This set was done with inland ports and the filling of large harbour areas in mind. To make the many different corner pieces user friendly I used symbols on the icons. It's easy to understand but it's strongly recommended to read the chapter 'Usage' in the included pdf. It takes less than a minute. The new lots use the same querry window as the original ones. Most of the lots use similar stats as the original set - they are almost neutral to the city with no monthly cost and small or no pollution or consumption. The main lots (car transfer dock, building material transfer dock, chemical liquids dock, coal docks) are modded for a small caps relief on industries (CRI lots). This set is dedicated to the memory of Doc Rohrlach. While downloading the following dependencies - please consider to compliment the original creators. They did the main job. Dependencies and Installation Notes 1. WMP Rural Dockands and Dependencies WMP_RDock_Set1.zip WMP_RDock_Set2.zip And all listed dependencies (11). The internal downloads are all linked at the bottom of the page. But make shure you don't forget: BSC Mega Props - JES Vol01.dat BSC Mega Props - JES Vol04.dat BSC Mega Props - JES Vol06.dat which are not included in the download section, as they are external dependencies. Hint: Rural Docklands, Set I containes a file called 'wmp_dummies.dat' and Rural Docklands, Set II contains the same file again. You can delete one of them. 2. Additional Dependencies NOB Mega Props Vol02.dat NOB Mega Props Vol03.dat BSC MEGA Props - Gascooker Vol01.dat BSC Mega Props - JES Vol09.dat PEG-PP_Scows_RESOURCE_101.dat (please check in case, if you have this actual and not an older version as it might not work) SG_Canal_CoalWharf.dat (the installer installs also a lot file named 'SG_4x4_Canal_CoalWharf_30fa6c92.SC4Lot' in the folder ."..\Plugins\BSC\Canals\Extras\Wharf - Coal". If you don't play with SimGoobers Brick Canals this lot isn't of much use and you might delete it) Murimk_industrialprops_resource.dat (included in this download is a folder called MMPs with dat files to turn the props into MMPs. You don't need this, but they are really nice und you might want to keep it) Nams PROPS PACK Vol 2.dat R6_Prop Pack 2010_Vol2.dat R6_TSC_PropPack_Vol2.dat RJM Prop Pack 2 Additional Content (you don't need this - but you may like) This files can make a fine addition to some of the lots: Hardun industris coal mine (to expand the coal dock). JENXPARIS House Boat by (ploppable ship, fitting in size) Hong Kong Junker Ships (even more nice ploppable ships) Fantozzi, march 2017. Enjoy!
  9. 19 likes

    Version 1.0.0


    DESCRIPTION Located in the city of Recife, PE, Brazil, Castelo Del Mar is a modernist residential condominium with twin towers built in 2001. Note: this file includes only a stand-alone tower. The Lot includes two pools and 6 Palm Trees, they may take a while to appear. Note: I highly suggest you to also download the reloted versions made by @Fantozzi, they look really good: Maxis Version CAM Version INFORMATIONS The model is available in two versions, Landmark and Residential building Landmark: Plop cost: 15,000 Lot size: 2x2 Residential building: Lot Size: 2x2 R$$$: 300 R$$: 650 R$: 1,200 INSTALLATION Unzip the files from the .zip to your Plugins folder. There are four .zip files in the download area. Be aware! Castelo Del Mar (Residential - MN): this is the Residential version for those who do not use SimFox Day and Nite Modd. Castelo Del Mar (Landmark - MN): this is the Landmark version for those who do not use SimFox Day and Nite Modd. NOTE: if you download both MN .zips I highly suggest you to delete one .SC4Model file, but never both. Castelo Del Mar (Residential - DN): this is the Residential version for those using SimFox Day and Nite Modd. Castelo Del Mar (Landmark - DN): this is the Landmark version for those using SimFox Day and Nite Modd. NOTE: if you download both DN .zips I highly suggest you to delete one .SC4Model file, but never both. DEPENDENCIES SimFox Day and Nite modd (for Darknite users only). To check my other projects you can visit my thread
  10. 18 likes
    @Tyberius06 Very nice indeed. Here is the model I was telling you about. It will be part of a brand new lot. Its time for another update on my ongoing task of completing the next prop pack. This baby took a while to master but in the end I did it. Huge thanks to Gn_leugim for posting that Youtube video tutorial on how to make custom LOD's. I took his tutorial and modified some parameters so that I could render this massive 120k poly model with custom LOD's. It may look small but in order to convey almost all details it had to be poly heavy. It also has night lights! Here it is, please excuse the poor lot setup it is shown in. A proper lot texture with another, very important building will be part of the whole lot. The locomotive is one of vester's latest prop pack. Beautiful ain't it? 1 2 3 Simmer2/Nick
  11. 18 likes
    Just a quick project I decided to undertake... these HD gems from @tcx are among my all time favorites, but he only made ploppable versions, I seek to rectify that situation. Growable versions should be on the STEX by Friday! (EDIT: Well, maybe not Friday, but Saturday for sure!)
  12. 18 likes
    March is going to be a month of decals. I'm not sure if I can squeeze out a decal (or a decal set) every single day for 31 days, but we'll see. Starting out with a set of 4 mud decals: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=874716774
  13. 18 likes
    Woa, I see there's been a lot of new and interesting interchanges on display in here since I last posted. This thread has always been is one of my favorites and I've definitely been missing out! @Haljackey As prolific as always, you never stop building highways & interchanges do you? I especially like the one you posted back in October. @f3cs You've been near well just as prolific, with several examples of good high capacity interchanges. @Thin White Duke That's a creative approach! using a tunnel for the main highway @simmytu Nice angles! and mmp work too, would be cool to see how that whole area looks now. @matias93 Don't listen to your conscious, over complication is good! @vintagamer That's a really cool interchange! I love quirky designs like that. @Compdude787 Going old school and bringing back the cloverleaf I see, when it's that well built there is nothing reduant about it. @TopDeej Couple of really neat designs there, I'd agree with Haljackey's improvement for the second one. @metasmurf Your use of smoothed out curves and peculiar angles is cutting edge in RHW "designology" @bladeberkman Holy compactness! @simonvangenderen Damn that thing is huge @JohnAJ Imo there's nothing wrong with 'cheating' sometimes, I use tunnels occasionally too, it just adds to the unusual design you created there, great work! @EvansRE4 That's nice high capacity interchange, pretty good for your first time. @tun93ngo Nice job with the landscaping and all those rail lines running around in there make things really interesting. @AprilAero That is totally my kind of interchange. Smart design as well avoiding possible weaving issues like that. Good job@ @Sarsey @CCXXII @PaleoCardio @ikilluasap1 and any others whom I may have missed. It's also about time I finally added something to the thread as well. Here's a couple of interchange wide pano's of a project I just completed on the weekend - The 5 Points Interchange. This is probably my favorite photo of it; And a couple of unseen mosaics from different angles;
  14. 18 likes
    So, I felt like the incredible city of Prague deserved one last picture. It'll be coming to my CJ eventually. Old town in the autumn
  15. 18 likes
    Here's is where I left off, the last time I worked on this is in late 2016. Lol!!!! NYBT Peter Stuyvesant File Name: NYBT Peter Stuyvesant pic01
  16. 18 likes
    Replies @Ln X: Thank you! Yeah, this was all mostly built before I discovered the existence of proper diagonal fillers and whatnot. I'll likely revisit some of my older areas in the future and give em a good ole facelift. As for multi-tile mosaics, I definitely have some planned for the future. Just need to get my photo editing skills up to snuff and they'll be good to go! @Themistokles: I live for the region shots . Thanks for the comment! @kschmidt: Thanks! I try to take advantage of space when filling up flat land. @korver: Thanks a lot! Gotta hand it to blunder - his Cascadia controller is godly! @philforhockey51, @Dreadnought, @raynev1: Thank you very much! Cities of the Avalon Valley Welcome to 2015 and the Avalon Valley! This section of the region is part of the Arcadia Metropolitan Region which covers several large cities alongside the Avalon River. As the region develops, this area will eventually be consumed by the even greater Avalon Metro Area. I started building this area towards the end of 2014 into mid 2015, so some of you may find screenshots here that you might've seen before. Without further ado... 1. An overview of the valley. The cities we'll be exploring today include Winchester & New Arcadia. Winchester Winchester was built towards the latter end of 2014 into 2015. This city started off as a bedroom community for New Arcadia but eventually developed into a rather major hub itself. Starting from here I started experimenting with new styles from lurking SC4D and from those that I acquired during my return to ST. Population: 150,000 2. An overview of the city of Winchester, from north looking south. 3. The administrative sector, which lies in the southwestern corner of the city. A curious mix of different government buildings and assorted services. 4. Busy industrial sector located fairly close to the administrative area. This was my first time playing around with any semblance of a rail network with these rail yards. 5. The largest park in the city, located fairly close to downtown. 6. The primary downtown core. My original goal was to have a largely medium-density dominated skyline. However, my skyscraper happy self always manages to find a way... 7. A closer look at downtown. Downtown is dominated by many different architectural styles. With few exceptions, all of the skyscrapers were grown without much pruning. 8. The secondary downtown core towards the northeast. Originally a suburban office center that gradually expanded into several high rises. 9a. BEFORE: The highlight of the city is the primary interchange in the heart of the city known colloquially as the 'Chester, which connects downtown with the A-10 and A-215 freeways. The original route was often congested and was in need of an upgrade.* * to be honest, no one uses the road so I used traffic generators instead GG 9b. AFTER: The upgrade was done with an increase in capacity and beautification of the surrounding area. Engineers also managed to devise an ingenious method to relocate the St.Paul Cathedral in order to make way for a new avenue underpass. 10. A bonus full mosaic of the interchange and surrounding area from the NAM showcase challenge a while back. A decorative W which symbolizes the city lies between the A-10 west to downtown connector loop. Despite all the improvements, planners and engineers alike once again forgot to build a north -> west connector... 11. Another angle of the beast. 12. A small patch of nature between the A-215 northbound connector and A-10. A dirt path snakes under A-10 towards the St. Paul Cathedral. 13. A jumble of highway ramps on A-215. No one seems to be using the fast lane at all. 14. A new substation marks the first exit of the northbound spur route A-215. New Arcadia Due east of Winchester is the city of New Arcadia, the largest city of the Avalon Valley Metropolitan Area. Like Winchester, this city was developed largely in the early portions of 2015 where I started experimenting heavily with different styles. As such, you may find this city to be well... a mess. Population: 460,000 15. An overview of the city. 16. A power corridor with an incorrectly aligned pylon. As long as it works right? 17. Industry along the highway near the local airport. 18. Some gridbusting suburban areas. 19. Projects located near downtown. 20. Stadium and convention center near downtown. I think I'm finally in a good state to attempt some re-lots of these in the future. 21. Interchanges abound! New Arcadia features several major highway junctions. This T-junction connects the A-10 with local bypass route A-310. 22. A-310 goes from southbound to eastbound at the Twister. An unsigned southbound route and a local avenue meet here as well. My ST return screenshot! 23a. BEFORE: Yet another junction that was met with upgrades. This short highway stub connects a downtown parkway with the A-310. 23b. AFTER: With NAM 33 Pre came L1 and wider flyover support. Some MMP and mast lighting improvements were also added to spice up the boring original. Eventually those lights will be torn down in favor of shorter ones. 24a. BEFORE: Downtown at night in its first iteration before I turned into a skyscraper nut: 24b. AFTER: Post-skyscraper frenzy. Regardless, being able to have such a sheer amount of unique BATs grow is certainly mesmerizing to watch. The night shots are definitely worth sacrificing some realism for that supertall concrete jungle. 25. A final daytime overview of New Arcadia. For Next Time We'll move eastwards towards the original city of Arcadia and surrounding suburban communities.
  17. 18 likes
    Thank you guys very much! I'm really striving to represent as realistically as possible the latin-american suburbs (altough in Brazil, at least, we don't call it that way as subúrbio around here means "periphery"). In the final product I will include more than one type of wall, with wooden stakes and glass shards for low-wealth and iron stakes and eletric fences for middle and high wealt. Many thanks for the comments! Thank you both for the comments! I hope you guys enjoy the rest of the collection as I showcase it here. Please come back for more! Hahahaha, I don't think that would work well... Hello guys! Things have started to slow down once again (nothing unexpected though) and I don't have so much free time anymore. But, just to show that nothing here is abandoned, I decided to show some stuff that I have done in the past month. In the first image is the tiny pedagogy campus of the Universidade de Pernambuco located in Pesqueira-PE. The building is, nowadays, closed but not many years ago it served a strategic role as a pedagogy universtity in the countryside of the state of Pernambuco and helped the educational system of the region by providing it with new teachers. A series of reforms in the Universidade de Pernambuco's management systems decreed the end of academic activities in the old building as other campi with bigger capacity were built by the governement in neighboring. The second image is my attempt at recreating a corner building located in Ipanema, in the city of Rio de Janeiro. It's still not incomplete, altough this render is already a month old so it doesnt show some of the progress I've made on it. All in all I hope you enjoy this little preview! I assure you that, even with little spare time, I'm working hard to release this year a giant pack of brazilian stuff, you will see! Thank you guys for stopping by and please come back!
  18. 17 likes
    Hey there, guys! After 4 years of hard effort and plenty of barely slept nights, I finally graduated! I gave myself some a well-earned break in modding, hope you guys forgive me hehe. Anyway, I'm getting closer to releasing some few stuff. Just wanted to give you a heads up! Thank you all very much for all the support that you have given me! I'm really grateful for all the kind words!
  19. 17 likes
    32 Court Street is now on the STEx: @Diego Del Llano thanks for your words, Diego, I truly appreciate them Actually I think people always do constructive comments here and I like them, I just didn't like that last episode, you know, because I don't think it was something to be done here. Anyways, everything I taught you I learned from other people as well, I think it's a cycle between BATters through the years, the same way you already taught me some things @T Wrecks thanks for your words as well Actually I took that comment seriously because it's true and funny, I talk that to myself sometimes I'll continue 500 5th Avenue exactly because that SimFox model has 6 years old and we didn't even know other members had it, so I don't know if there's really a realistic chance, but I hope so, their model looks better than mine in my own opinion, but if that one is not released...it's better to have one than none. About the Cidade Jardim, I'll do only the buildings to be more basic and versatile exactly how you said. Actually the complex is huge, there are the 3 commercial towers I'm doing and also 9 residential building and a shopping centre, but I plan to do only the commercial buildings. I started to texture them trying to have a visually better blue colour in the helipad:
  20. 17 likes

    Version 1.0.0


    DESCRIPTION Located in Brooklyn neighborhood, New York City, the colonial revival building was built in 1918 and has been home to commercial offices ever since. The building was designed by the firm Starrett & Van Vleck and it was regarded at the time as Brooklyn’s first true skyscraper. INFORMATIONS The model is available in two versions, Landmark and Commercial Office. W2W corner building. Landmark: Plop cost: 20,000 Lot size: 1x2 Commercial Office: Lot Size: 1x2 CO$$$: 400 CO$$: 550 INSTALLATION Unzip the files from the .zip to your Plugins folder. There are four .zip files in the download area. Be aware! 32 Court Street (Landmark - MN): this is the Landmark version for those who do not use SimFox Day and Nite Modd. 32 Court Street (Commercial - MN): this is the CO$$$ version for those who do not use SimFox Day and Nite Modd. NOTE: if you download both MN .zips I highly suggest you to delete one .SC4Model file, but never both. 32 Court Street (Landmark - DN): this is the Landmark version for those using SimFox Day and Nite Modd. 32 Court Street (Commercial - DN): this is the CO$$$ version for those using SimFox Day and Nite Modd. NOTE: if you download both DN .zips I highly suggest you to delete one .SC4Model file, but never both. DEPENDENCIES SimFox Day and Nite modd (for Darknite users only). To check my other projects you can visit my thread
  21. 17 likes
    Replies @Ln X: I really wish I didn't lose all of my really old screenshots of this region during its infancy in early 2011. Would've been great to see the transformation between then and now. Thanks! @kschmidt, @takemethere, @feyss, @raynev1: Thanks a lot for your comments! @nos.17: That feeling when only freight traffic uses your highways... traffic generations to the rescue ! Thanks! @Dreadnought: Much appreciated. Figured it would've been nice to have a more natural shoreline for the less urbanized areas. As an LA native I too love building sprawl but alas, skyscrapers have always been the "pinnacle" in terms of gameplay achievement for me, even if it throws aesthetics out the window (night shots notwithstanding). @fdjw88: Thank you! 200,000 people is no easy feat. Once you've gotten on board the custom content train you'll be building crazy stuff in no time! Cities of the Avalon Valley II: Attack of the Suburbs It's time to explore the second half of the Arcadia Metropolitan Area, namely the cities of Arcadia, Harmon Lake, Sundry City, and Lansing. For the area overview, please check out the first screenshot on the previous entry. We begin by viewing some of the less remarkable (and very incomplete) outlier cities: 1. This is Lansing. Population: 36,000 2. And this is Sundry City. Population: 64,000. Both are fairly unremarkable cities that serve as the surrounding communities for New Arcadia and Arcadia. 3. Harmon Lake is slightly more notable that the previous two by virtue of well... having a lake. Population: 46,500 4. You might find some middle class suburbs. 5. A LOT of middle class suburbs. 6. There's some occasional low wealth ones as well. 6. Harmon Lake is the other end of the spectrum. Very nice neighborhoods with marinas. 7. The other side of the lake is even better with small and large mansions alike. 8. Even the interchanges boast some considerable greenery, even if it's just wild grasses and flowers. 9. Main street through downtown Harmon Lake is a poplar tree lined feast. 10. On the opposite end, Sundry City's principal road runs parallel to an unsigned freeway. Along this corridor are fresh new office parks home to many different companies. 11. The MacroHard (R) Corporate campus was one of the first to be established alongside this corridor and dominates the block. Large gleaming midrises tower over acres of asphalt. 12. Now we finally enter (old) Arcadia. Population: 110,000 13. Arcadia is home to two major interchanges. This first windmill was one of the earliest constructed and crosses A-10 with Azura Loop 267. Safety was definitely considered when designing those level 2 flyovers (these are the old < NAM 32 depreceated flyovers). 14. This bridge crossing is part of the second major interchange that connects loop 267 and bypass A-310. 15. The Arcadia Exchange marks the boundaries between Lansing, Sundry City and Arcadia. 16. Arcadia Gas Power Generating Station provides a respectable amount of electricity for the city and surround communities. 17. Heavier industry also surrounds the plant. Future plans have been in motion to provide rail access for this area. 18. What is suburban life without wide avenues and some more office parks? 19. Arcadia Lake is a quiet little hillside lake that's popular with the local communities. 20. The largest K-12 school in the city services a majority of the area. 21. For those looking for higher education, the University of Avalon, Arcadia campus lies just a few blocks off loop 267. 22. Plenty of attractions exist closer to downtown, including a racetrack and a museum. 23. Arcadia's downtown core. 24. Of course, what would life in these cities be without more suburbs... 25. Endless suburbs! 26. Even gated communities get in the action. 27. Hopefully I haven't bored you all with these mind-numbing shots of endless suburbia. Here's one last overview for Arcadia at night. That concludes the Arcadia Metropolitan Area! Mosaics will return in due time. For Next Time Catch-up is almost over. We'll be exploring the cities of Herring Point and Jericho, two more recent cities (started July 2015).
  22. 16 likes
    Hi Everyone! Little progress on the SeaPort Expansion. I decided to put long old styleish factory buildings (thanks for @jestarr master the lovely industrial buildings) some of the lots, mainly I has been inspirated by @T Wrecks and his IRM W2W lots, and huge thanks for @nofunk his recently released Lindsey Bros building, which I found a very nice addition one or few of my lot concepts. The following pictures are still WIP concepts. I don't know when I will release these lots, I'm still working on the basis. According to my plans, the upload will contain second versions of some of my previously released SeaPort railyards, because I was asked to remove the huge/high light cones from some of the lots; expansion for the PEG-CDK3 set (which does not contain rail tracks - this set is nearly done), expansion for the PEG-CDK3-SP set (which contains rail tracks - this set is actually in progress); some new bigger I-M lots my DTR-STR Ind Harbour set, because why not; and a few quite big Harbour industrial lots (with several buildings, railyards etc). So that's what I'm working on recently: And of course thanks for @Simmer2 master again and always for his RRW NSB Overlay Texture Set, which will be the main dependency for the expansion. - Tyberius
  23. 16 likes
    Hotwheeler- Thank you, and yes the whole Strech of Park Avenue scream 'Aaron Graham". NYBT 1150 Park Avenue Here's an update, I have added the windows, I need to make some changes, to them I think they are up to high on the wall, then again it might not matter. I have a question should I make the type of windows like in the brochure picture above? File Name: NYBT 1150 Park Avenue pic02
  24. 16 likes
    It's been a while... Sadly my computer is still suffering problems. However, a few changes here and there and I've managed to get a semi-stable system for the last week or so. That means I'm able to get some serious work done for the first time in months. I've been working behind the scenes with Rivit on a number of changes/updates to GoFSH, which I will show you all at some point. But for today, it's time to jump back to the RRW Reskin (automation) project I showed off first in the summer of 2015. Having made the proof of concept, @Eggman121 has continued to build the master repository to evolve to the point where it's almost ready for release. @rivit has once again provided a number of improvements to the process, through GoFSH, along with assisting with the repository. @Simmer2 has also joined us in contributing to the repository and assisting the project. Meanwhile, I've been working on a huge number of rail crossing textures, trying to ensure they match @Swordmaster's originally intended vision. We're on the home stretch here, so I'd like to offer everyone a preview version of the RRW Reskin mod, the creatively named "MGB Type 01" variant: Type01 includes concrete sleepers and a light gray ballast, as shown above. Of course, eventually not only will more options be available, but the repository used to create them will be too. This means, armed with just two textures, you can customise the RRW network however you like. This preview is intended to give you all a taste of what's to come, but also hopefully to get some feedback to help us to identify any areas that need improving or where textures are missing. Bear in mind, I'm talking mostly about Network Textures here. If you have suggestions for Lot Textures, we're happy to hear about them. But the priority is getting the entire RRW mod covered as complete as possible. It would be impossible to cover every lot texture however. Currently, the preview is packed in one of my friendly installers, which can be found here on my Google Drive. I intend to update this style as development continues, eventually releasing the mod on the exchanges, including TGN/SWN compatible textures for the included crossings.
  25. 16 likes
    A small bridge over a river near a maize farm...
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    Wow, so much good stuff in the works by everyone! Here's a WIP Costco relot that I whipped up today, using the b62 Wawa as a stand-in for Costco gas. Been lurking mostly for the last month but I finally found the time to start something again. Also have a ton of almost-sorta-finished lots from the past 6 months that's just been sitting on my hard drive. Guess I need to get on that again.
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    It's a work in progress. You probably saw it in one of my screenshots, like this one I've also working on some custom Node Meshes (Junctions)
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    It's very satisfying when you line up all the parking spaces attached to the buildings. It's very easy - you just have to have some patience when you de-zone and re-zone every time the wrong type of building grows.
  32. 13 likes
    I have some snow props, but I didn't make decals because it would be too noticeable when they disappear, you couldn't just cover an area in snow. There are markings like that already, some kind of slow uk decal, and the school decal from beardmonkey. I'm probably not going to make any road markings. Depends, the game destroys my gpu because it's bad and I throw all these trees and props at it. I haven't played the game to make a city with citizens yet, so there's not much cpu use. I doubt I'll get into sports decals because I'm not into sports, all the others are probably going to be made. Is that on a winter map? I've never tried one and everything is covered in snow there anyway, no? And snow in regular maps would make for a very noticable transition when you zoom out and the snow disappears. Anyway, the classic fallen leaves have served us well, but perhaps it's time for an upgrade: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=875912707
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    Small bits of nature in an sea of urbanity
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    Working on a couple highway curves. 1 2
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    A commuter train passing through the outskirts of town.
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    European trucks are up! All from the brand new MIYAGI MOTORS factory near you! I just couldn't resist changing SCANIA to MIYAGI on these - it just fits much better with the container brands than a real life brand.
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    American trucks with container trailers are up along with a prop version of the truck ofc - all can be found in this collection Next up are Euro trucks! But that's for tomorrow. I've been looking at trucks most of the last two days - time to actually play a little.
  38. 12 likes
    Views around the Llama River in Ferrocity:
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    How to make a visually pleasing slope …exactly the way you want it, without the help of a slope mod. Yes, it‘s right. We’ll attempting the almost impossible: Creating a slope that looks good, exactly the way we want it, without resorting to a slope mod. The goal of this tutorial shall be: We will be (for demonstrational purposes) making an overpass with the height of 7.5m over a railway line, where the terrain rises exactly by 1.5m per city tile. (This requires making a slope that takes up 5 city tiles.) In this tutorial I will frequently use the term height increase per city tile. This mostly means what it implies: The height distance (im m) between the lowest point of a city tile that is not flat and its highest point. This tutorial is also supposed to be part of the "How to Do It" Simtropolis Challenge, Season 3. I hope posting it will suffice, if not, I'd appreciate if someone tells me. Let’s first start with a little thinking: 1. Which possibilites do we have? We could manually raise the terrain with the terrain raising tool, either with the one that comes in the Mayor Mode Menu, or the one from the God Mode Menu. But, as you might have already thought, it seems to be impossible to make it look accurately right. We could also just simply use a slope mod. But however, you might definitely want a slope to feature a defined height increase, not just any, and perhaps no slope mod available is meeting your demands and you also might not want to leave Sim City 4, modify your slope mod, return, drag your traffic route, leave Sim City 4 and so on… Fortunately, there’s a third way to make slopes. This tutorial will be all about making a slope by resorting to this way. 2. What do we need? The Network Addon Mod, which is available here. It comes with the only required tool, the Hole Digger and Raiser Lots. We will be using these lots. This tool unfortunately is a puzzle piece, which can trigger the bug that causes SC4 to return to desktop when hovering the mouse cursor over a transit-enabled lot. You might want to install this plugin that fixes this bug. Probably the Extra Cheats Plugin, which is available here. It isn’t really mandatory, but quite helpful, as it allows you to plan your slopes according to what you actually want. And, most important: The brain.exe, which is available in your head. Most importantly, you will need to use a bit of mathematics (for instance, if you want a road to take 5 tiles to climb a height difference of 7.5m, you need to calculate: 7.5m/5 = 1.5m), especially considering that with the tool we are using, you are unfortunately limited to height increases per tile of 0.5m, 1m, 1.5m and so on (it increases by increments of 0.5m). Also, please note that the Hole Digger and Raiser Lots destroy subterranean water pipes and subway tunnels – so, after using them, it is highly recommended to check your water pipes and subway tunnels, lest you end up disconnecting parts of your city from the local water supply (this happened to me once). 3. The theoretical process This part is rather easy to explain: As you might have already noticed, you can use the Hole Digger and Raiser Lots to raise/lower a tile, as well as raise large parts of your terrain (for instance, to create terraces). The choice of how much you can raise/lower your terrain seems to be low, since the tool itself only offers the possibility to raise/lower the terrain by increments of: 15m, 7.5m, 8m, 10m, 12m, 14m, 15.5m, 24m, and 30m You can actually increase your possibilities if you raise the terrain by a certain amount, then lower it by another amount. For example, raising it by 15m and lowering it by 14m eventually raises the terrain by 1m. And, most important for this tutorial: If you stagger those cleverly, you can create slopes. 4. A practical example Perhaps a few pictures explain more than words. Let’s now focus on the goal topic of this tutorial, namely, the 7.5m overpass that we will be making exactly here: I’ve placed park lots to label the place where the slope will be in the future. Let’s now first grab the Raiser Tool and press TAB until we get the 15.5m raiser tool (15.5m-14m = 1.5m). Place it exactly here (red dot): This will create a mound with the height of 15.5m. Next, press SHIFT+TAB to return to the 14m tile and press END to switch to the digger piece (it should be glowing red instead of blue). Place the tool exactly on top of the mound and the result will look like this: Now, use road stubs to lengthen the raised terrain to the opposite side: I’ve marked the next spot where you should place the raiser tool again with a red dot. This will, basically, allow you to make slopes if you continue this pattern. You can, by the way, at least in this case speed up the process if you make a "wall" like this with only the raiser tool… …and then lower the terrain. All of this will eventuall lead to this result: Now, all that is left is creating a trench for the railway and then dragging the railway through it and placing the 7.5m Road overpass puzzle pieces. This is the result: 5. Final words Looks complicated – and in fact, it is. It’s rather time-consuming, but it is the only way I’ve ever been able to figure out to make a slope exactly the way I want it. This is especially useful in making overpasses/underpasses – for instance, overpasses with not the same height increase per tile but gentle in the beginning, more steep in the center and gentle in the end, like it would be realistic (try to make this with a slope mod)… …and sometimes useful in making nice mountain roads like these: Especially for the latter purpose, you might want to install the Extra Cheats plugin, and use it by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+X and then typing in terrainquery to actually find out which height difference you have to deal with. That’s the point where you need to use your brain.exe: 1. To calculate how many city tiles it will take your slope to climb this difference, and 2. by how much meters you will have to raise every tile. That’s all for now. I hope you liked this tutorial.
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    Thanks! Go ahead, yours looks great! Done! It's not especially supposed to work in apartment complexes, it was easier to feature the variations that way but I guess it kinda works... Maybe a bit too small for that though. I'll try to finish some ongoing projects now.
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    Version 1.0.0


    This upload is of Mandelsoft's BNL Cloverleaf Insurance. The lot is ploppable and can be found in the landmarks menu. Like most of my relots it is sub-tropical/tropical, with many palm trees. All the stats are the same as the original file . The model and original can be found here. List of dependencies SHK Parking Pack BSC MEGA Props - MJB Vol01 BSC MEGA Props CP Vol 02 BSC MEGA Props CP Vol01 PEG MTP Super Pack (Texture DAT is only one that is needed) RMIP ( All you will need is the jzo_RMIP2vol2_textures.dat file) I have tested it numerous times, but if there are any issues please do PM me, or write in my new Lot editing topic Tankmanks Lots. And i just hope that you will enjoy it.
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    @Takingyouthere: Great work as usual! I've built a small highway system for my medium-density town North-West Fairplain. Here it is in the town center:
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    The mid wealth peeps who drive Chevrolet SUV's populate this area.
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    And since we are all thinking about this, here are another three possible MAXIS style rail colourings. Its important to note that its impossible to replicate MAXIS rail with RRW rail - this is because it was deliberately designed to be different - for instance no shiny rail visible, and RRW was given a realistic ballast bed and rail gauge. So if we look closely (this is zoomed using CTRL X sizeof 5) we see the MAXIS Rail and in (1) a rail using the dominant ballast and sleeper colours of the Maxis rail. Notice how the RRW is wider, and has one ballast bed not two separated by some vague green stuff. However (1) does not zoom out without becoming very dark, as the sleeper colour is almost black and RRW has many more sleepers. In (2) I've used a grey sleeper and its too light - it disappears as you zoom out. (3) is somewhere between the two and for me represents a reasonable goldilocks of Maxis color and RRW features.
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    Gazillions of years later and I still love seeing these posts each and every time. Merry Christmas simtropolis
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    Version 1.0.1


    This package contains a small convenience store, with three model variations in a buildings family, along with lots to use them. Inside the "Models" folder, please ensure you remove 3 files you will not need. Included are models for the following options: HD (High Definition/Better Quality textures) SD (Default texture quality) DN (DarkNite, for users of SimFox's DarkNite mod) MN (MaxisNite, for default lighting) So for example, if you are using HD-MN, you should remove the files ending HD-DN, SD-DN and SD-MN, leaving only your preferred choice behind. Using my Retail Signage Pack dependency, these stores will show randomly one of the installed Banner/Logo options. 3 Lots are included: Stage 2 CS$$ 3x2 Stage 2 CS$$ 3x3 (Right Corner) Stage 1 CS$$ 4x4. Dependencies (Required for all Lots) MGB Retail Signage Pack (RSP) Girafe Urbanpack Girafe Elms Girafe Ashes VIP Vnaoned Post Office Note: only the file Grfe_hedge_3m.dat from this package is required. SHK Parking Pack: SuperSHK MEGA Parking Textures: or Alternately Each lot has 54 CS$$ Jobs and stats generated using PIM-X. For full details see the included readme file. Ensure you keep the file MGB_ConvenienceStore_Resource.dat or these lots will not function correctly. But you can discard any of the lots you may not wish to use.
  48. 10 likes

    Frozen soil

    From the album Winter Wonderland (S3-21-M)

    Winter at the Saint Malin highland.
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    Version 1.1


    ATTENTION: Use one of the HD or SD model sets, not both. Remove the folder for the one you don't want. This is the Troy Gasholder Building, built in 1873 for the Troy Gas Light Company in Troy, New York state, USA. Designed by Frederick A. Sabbaton, it housed a telescoping iron gasholder of the type found in Gascooker's prop packs and default Maxis industrials. For more information please see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troy_Gas_Light_Company Lot info Size: 3x3 Type: Natural gas power plant Menu: Power Plop cost: 900 Power generated: 300 The building is lotted as a 3x3 power plant with 10% of the plop cost, and 10% of the power generated as compared to the default Maxis natural gas power plant. Historical accuracy caveats The prototype lot would be close to 3x8, including a coal shed, maintance shop, and pipelines. In the interests of space, this lot presents a small storage and maintenance yard, along with a propane filling station. The real building is red brick with stone courses. This lot features a prop family with two alternate versions to fit in better with different areas: brown brick, and whitewashed/boarded up. The boarded up version has no night lighting. However, the small greenspace on one corner is found in the real life version, which is located in a residential neighborhood of 2-story rowhouses. Dependencies BSC Mega Props - JES Vol01.dat http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=342 BSC Mega Props - JES Vol09.dat http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=2349 Installation Simply unzip this folder to your plugins folder. Removal Bulldoze any examples of this obsolete Victorian folly which remain in your cities, then remove this folder from your plugins folder. Upgrading The HD models share their IDs with SD, and there have been no change to prop descriptions, so it should be possible to upgrade without bulldozing existing plops. Remove the "Plugins/CT14/Troy Gasholder Building v1.0" folder to a backup location, then move the v1.1 folder into Plugins, as for example "Plugins/CT14/Troy Gasholder Building v1.1".
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