SimCity 4 Terraformer (SC4TF) is a regional terraforming application developed and written by woanagaine of Simtropolis. This application allows you to create, manipulate and general terraform a complete region without SimCity 4 (SC4) running. You are no longer required to terraform only one city tile at a time – rather, SC4TF allows you to terraform across the entire region!
I own multiple computers but don’t want to have SimCity 4 installed on each of them. I would still like the ability to create new maps and SC4 regions on these other computers. Since SC4TF functions as a stand-alone application, I can install and use it on any computer I wish and create region maps to my heart’s content. So can you by following the steps in this tutorial.
Downloading SC4TF and saving it to a Computer
1) Log into Simtropolis.
2) From the home page, in the blue bar at the top of the page, click on the Modds & Downloads link.
3) In the Programs list, find SC4TerraFormer.
NOTE ON APPLICATION VERSION
This is version 1.0c of SC4Terraformer. A new version (version 1.1) is available by clicking on the SC4Terraformer, Version 1.1 link. Ensure that this post is read completely in order to ensure that all requirements for the application have been met.
4) In the lower right-hand corner of the application description, click on the Download link.
5) Save the file to a temporary folder on your computer.
6) Copy the saved zip file to a removable media device, burn it to a CD or copy it across a network connection to a different computer.
7) On the computer on which SC4TF will be installed, create a folder and name it SC4TF.
Copy the zip file to the SC4TF folder you just created in Step 7), above and extract the files from the zip archive using the “Use folder names” option.
Creating the Required Folder Structure and Files
Creating the Required Folder Structure
1) On the computer where you extracted the SC4TF files, open your desired file management software (I use Windows Explorer) then navigate to and open the My Documents folder.
NOTE: The My Documents folder can be found in a variety of placed on your computer. The three most common are as follows:
On your desktop is an icon of an open folder with a piece of paper sticking out of it. The text below the icon typically will be labeled My Documents. If this icon is not on your Desktop, it has been removed. Use one of the other below examples.
From an open Windows Explorer window, find the My Documents folder. This folder should be directly below the Desktop icon.
a) From an open Windows Explorer window, find and open the Documents and Settings folder.
b) Find and open the sub-folder which is named the same as your computer account name (your local profile sub-folder).
c) Find the My Documents sub-folder.
2) In the My Documents folder, create a new sub-folder called SimCity 4. Open this sub-folder.
3) In the SimCity 4 sub-folder, create a folder called Regions. Open this sub-folder.
4) In the Regions sub-folder, create a folder with the name of the region you will be creating. For example: SC4TF_TEST_REGION. Open this sub-folder.
Creating the config.bmp File
Before discussing creation of a configuration bit map, I’d like to briefly discuss how SC4 handles config.bmp and grayscale map image files.
A grayscale map image must have pixel dimensions that are divisible by 64. For example: 256 x 256 pixels, 512 x 512 pixels, 1024 x 768 pixels, etc. are all valid sizes for a grayscale map image. A grayscale map image whose dimensions are 524 x 312 pixels is invalid.
SC4 requires a grayscale map image dimension to be (grayscale map image width +1) x (grayscale map image height + 1) pixels in size. Therefore, the above valid examples would be 257 x 257 pixels, 513 x 513 pixels and 1025 x 769 pixels in size.
In order to determine the correct size of a region grayscale image map or size of a config.bmp file valid for use in SC4, one of the following two formulas are used:
Formula One – config.bmp size is known – calculate the size of the region.
(64W+1) by (64L+1) where W is the width of the config.bmp and L is the length of the config.bmp.
config.bmp is 4 x 9 pixels
(64 x 4) + 1) = 257
(64 x 9) + 1) = 577
Therefore, the Region dimensions are 257 by 577 pixels.
Formula Two – Region size is known – calculate the size of the config.bmp.
((W-1)/64) by ((L-1)/64) where W is the width of the Region image and L is the length of the Region image.
Region size is 257 by 577 pixels
((257-1) / 64) = 4
((577-1) / 64) = 9
Therefore, the config.bmp dimensions are 4 by 9 pixels.
For more information on creating config.bmp files for use in SC4, read the Simtropolis Ominbus article entitled Config.bmp: How To Make It Yours