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About madhatter106

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  • Birthday 04/04/1975

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    SimCity 4

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  1. These are all going to be medium wealth CS. I expect I'll be doing a bunch of two or (at max) three story ones, too. Right now I'm focusing on the single story guys. The trick with multi-story ones is that they're quite often multi-use zoning (commercial on the ground floor, with residential floors above) in "real life," but since SC4 doesn't handle that, we're forced to either create them as entirely commercial or entirely residential. I suppose they could be popped into the plugin Manager as either...
  2. I doubt I would make anything too big - I have been wanting to do a bowling alley, and that would probably be the largest I would go. Something utterly silly and Googie style. There's only been one grocery store that I've wanted to BAT, and it would be a fictional brand - based on a building that I drive past a lot.
  3. Speaking to age, therein lies the merit (or, shall we say, lack of pitfalls) in doing something that is either "generic," or something entirely dreamed up by the BATter. I've never done a recreation of an existing branded building - far too many before me have done McDonalds and the like, and probably much better than I could have done. It's not that I want to avoid this very problem, it's just that creating "name brand" buildings doesn't interest me. The great thing about something like Kahuna Kip's Surf Shack or Yuzo's Teriyaki Bowl is that they don't exist in "real life," and therefore won't age out or grow stale years after they've been downloaded and added to the plugins folder. Though I wouldn't say that ageing is a major problem for a lot of SC4 players - while places like Chipotle and McDonalds have certainly changed their image in regards to their physical locations for their storefronts, I know of places where their older, outdated designs still haven't been applied yet; in fact, I love finding those "time capsules" where you can encounter a name store that corporate headquarters hasn't gotten around to rebranding and retrofitting for whatever reason (lack of funds, schedule, zoning and permitting, etc). It's similar for places that have gone out of business since they were BATted - if a Circuit City or a Washington Mutual grew in my cities, I wouldn't mind it one bit. As for lotting, the great thing about that is that one can use the Lot Editor and tweak and relot to their heart's content.
  4. Yeah, I agree with the sentiment that these are sorely needed - even with what is available on the various exchanges, it seems one can never have enough CS variety, of any wealth level. I find that I tend to spend a good chunk of my playtime (what little there is) floating around the commercial zones more than the other types, and when you don't have a lot to dilute the Maxis stuff, it gets really boring looking. Thankfully BATters like jmyers2043 and SimGoober and all have given us a great jumpstart to mixing things up with their commercial buildings. Lowrise residentials have been in the back of my brain for years now - particularly three or four or (maximum) five story apartment buildings. I think other, better BATters have the single family homes well covered and represented, but I do like to see variety in low or medium wealth lowrises. Lots of cities are composed of dumpy little apartment buildings between six to twenty units total, which our eyes just glaze over and we don't notice when we drive past them. Part of the problem for residentials (at least to me) is the varying scale that Maxis seems to employ - some of the single story houses are either way too tiny or way too large, and I can never get a good handle on what looks best. I think it has been discussed in other threads before, but my few attempts at tackling residentials of this nature always seem to be oversized. I guess it could just be my mind playing tricks on me, too... I think a good number of NYBT members have done some really great larger multi-family buildings, and I don't think I can even touch their greatness, but eventually I may try my hand at some residentials. I even know what naming conventions I would use for the first pack...haha...
  5. It's so dirty. I love it.
  6. "I thought I'd be a librarian, until I met some crazy ones." - Edward Gorey.
  7. As much as I love doing the office buildings (and I confess, I don't think I'll ever have plumbed the depths of those completely), I have been wanting to do some medium wealth commercial service buildings to add some variety to that realm. From left to right, here are their tentative names... Beards & Shears Fine Barbers Rita's Fashion House of Fabric H-2-Oh! Water Filters Kitchen & Restaurant Supply The Vitamin Depot Carpet World iFixit Phone Repair Sir Lamps-a-Lot Lighting Fixtures EDIT: I think this one ended up being too wide, so the site squishes it a little and makes it look fuzzy. If you click on the image, it will bring it up in a better window so you can see these little dudes at the proper resolution...next time I'll arrange them in two rows so the image isn't as long...
  8. Did you know that the longest amount of time a criminal has spent on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List has been 32 years, and that the shortest span of time a criminal has been listed has been a mere two hours?
  9. Illustrator and comic artist Bernie Wrightson dead at 68. Wrightson had worked on numerous film and comic projects, including an illustrated version of the classic Gothic novel Frankenstein, as well as co-creating and penciling for the DC title Swamp Thing.
  10. If you need a great laugh at all this moral panic stuff, you really should watch the Geraldo Rivera primetime special about Satanism. They have poor old Ozzy via satellite answering a number of Geraldo's questions, mostly with a bewildered "what the hell am I doing this for?" look on his face. Plus some of the other interviewed subjects are downright hilarious in their belief that Satanists are lurking on every corner to maim, mutilate, and murder. Sprinkled in are jailhouse interviews with misguided teens who blamed the occult on their convictions, overzealous law enforcement officials, a trip to a voodoo bodega in New York, and even footage of loony Charles Manson. The ironic thing about the whole special is that the two real spokespeople for Satanism, Zeena LaVey (Anton's daughter) and Michael Aquino (founder of the offshoot sect the Temple of Set) are the most down-to-earth, rational, reasonable people on the whole panel. You can find it online - I think I had it playing in the background while I was working on an early BAT in this set and I thought, "oh, why not use this as a theme for the naming conventions on this bunch of offices?"
  11. Hmmm I guess what I am really after is a set of props - I wanted to do a commercial BAT (a cactus retail seller) that had some cactuses and succulents throughout, and rather than modeling and making my own and including them in the BAT itself (rather than as props on the lot), I figured I would see if they already existed close enough to what I was going for, so that way I wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel. What I don't know about flora is if you can use them as props - I guess a prop pack that had a bunch of cactuses would be the best way to go?
  12. Has anyone ever done any cactuses? Either flora or props, growing "in the wild" or smaller potted varieties? Or does Maxis have cactuses (cacti?) as part of their bldgprop files?
  13. They're uploaded - if you want them, you can find them on the STEX. I've accidentally put them in the 3ds models category - is there an STEX moderator who can fix that and put them in the SC4 BATs Buildings category? I'm afraid I don't know how (or cannot) do it myself...
  14. Version 1.0.0


    The chief financial officer just announced third quarter losses were greater than expected, the head of human resources needs to discuss an incident at the company picnic last week, and a server outage has just erased three weeks' worth of data entry. But hey, this is what you signed up for when you took all those typing and business administration courses at community college, right? Presenting yet another set in a series of office buildings to provide some variety to your commercial business district. Included in this upload are the following establishments... Pazder & Smith, LLC Stratford and Davis, Inc. Baran, Buckey and Amirault MacFarlane and Finkelhour, Esq. Raschke, Rivera and Pace Pulling, Jaffe & Egbert Warnke and Todd Design Hollander, Holmberg & Chick The buildings here were made to compliment existing Maxis offices - all are made in a 3x2 footprint, and are lotted as 3x2 and 3x3 in most cases. This pack contains 8 different buildings with over 40 lots, ranging from stage 5 to stage 7 CO$$$ with anywhere between 339 and 441 jobs. All have been lotted similar to their Maxis counterparts in order to blend in; as such, there are no dependencies. All have nightlights, custom queries, and stats similar to previous uploads. Do note, however, that since these are all high wealth commercial offices, they won't grow nearly as frequently as some BATs released in earlier packs. Special thanks to Simtropolis users Fantozzi and rsc204 for testing their growability in cities - their efforts are greatly appreciated. So fire off yet another email to personnel, send your assistant out for another latte, and remind your boss that his wife's birthday is next week, and that you've already booked them dinner at their favorite restaurant...enjoy!
  15. Special thanks to @rsc204 and @Fantozzi for running this latest batch of midrises through their cities to test their growability. I am hoping to have the query done soon; just need to snap some glamour shots of them and bundle it all together. In the meantime, here's the naming conventions for this recent pack... Pazder & Smith, LLC - Canadian psychologist Lawrence Pazder published the 1980 bestseller Michelle Remembers, one of the earliest books describing satanic ritual abuse and repressed memory syndrome. Pazder would later marry his patient and the subject of the book, Michelle Smith, who claimed to have taken part in numerous satanic rituals since the age of five, including one that lasted a full eighty-one days in which the devil himself was summoned. Multiple investigations have revealed glaring inconsistencies throughout the book, as well as no corroborating evidence for many of her allegations. Pazder would later be forced to withdraw his assertion that the Church of Satan was directly involved in the story, after having been threatened with a libel suit from its founder Anton LaVey. Stratford and Davis, Inc. - publishing under the alias Lauren Stratford, Laurel Rose Willson authored three books including Satan’s Underground, alleging that she had been the victim of satanic ritual abuse, as well as serving as a “baby breeder” to supply infants for sacrifice. Her story would later be debunked, though she would surface again in 1999, falsely claiming her real name was Lauren Grabowski and that she had been a Jewish holocaust survivor of Auschwitz. Anne Johnson Davis’ book Hell Minus One purports to a similar tale of satanic abuse at the hands of her mother and stepfather, who allegedly confessed to the diabolical deeds before being excommunicated by the LDS Church. Baran, Buckey and Amirault - schoolteacher Bernard Baran was tried and convicted in 1985 on eight counts of molestation, many arising from disapproving parents who had removed their child from his classroom after learning of the educator’s homosexuality. Baran was granted a new trial in 2006, and was eventually freed in 2009, after the Massachusetts Appeals Court cited prosecutorial misconduct, including the presentation of false testimony before the grand jury. Along with his grandmother, mother, sister, and several teachers, Raymond Buckey was accused of numerous insidious crimes as part of the McMartin Preschool scandal in the southern California, which would become the cornerstone case of satanic ritual abuse accusations centering around daycare centers in the early 1980’s. Despite over five years of time in jail and two criminal trials, no convictions were obtained against him in the case, and all charges were eventually dropped in 1990. Based primarily on the testimony of his young accusers, Gerald Amirault was convicted of assault and abuse in the 1986 Fells Acres Day Care Center trial. Later examination of the videotaped police interviews would reveal that most of the sensational claims (including sexual penetration with knives and assaults by a clown in a “secret room”) were coerced; Amirault would be granted parole nearly two decades after his imprisonment. MacFarlane and Finkelhour, Esq. - Kee MacFarlane pioneered the use of anatomically-correct dolls for interviewing the children who were involved in the McMartin Preschool sex abuse case in southern California. She later would testify before Congress about a nationwide satanic conspiracy, despite providing no evidence or proof of such claims. Sociologist David Finkelhour’s 1988 investigation of satanic ritual abuse in United States day care centers identified what he claimed to be over 30 substantiated cases (including the McMartin hysteria), though the report would later be discredited due to insubstantial corroborations. Raschke, Rivera and Pace - Theologian Carl Raschke became an expert witness testifying in court cases involving the occult; his book on the subject, Painted Black, has been dismissed by many, including one reviewer who maintained it added “additional fuel to the flames of hysteria surrounding Satanism in America.” Journalist and television host Geraldo Rivera hosted the 1988 primetime special “Devil Worship: Exposing Satan’s Underground” which included interviews with prominent Satanists (and a befuddled Ozzy Osbourne) as well as investigators and law enforcement officials who were convinced of a nationwide conspiracy of satanic activity; years later, Rivera would apologize for the sensationalism the Halloween-time special caused, despite it generating the highest ratings ever for a two-hour documentary special on NBC. Written in 1990 by an authority of the LDS Church, the Pace memorandum detailed over sixty allegations of satanic ritual abuse within Mormon congregations throughout the western United States; a three-year investigation by the Utah attorney general’s office found that none of the allegations could be substantiated beyond the victims’ testimonies. Pulling, Jaffe & Egbert - After the 1982 suicide of her son, Patricia Pulling founded the advocacy group BADD (Bothered About Dungeons & Dragons) in an attempt to force government regulation of roleplaying games, which she was convinced had contributed to his death due to their focus on devils, demonology, magic, and fantasy. Her lawsuits against her son’s high school principal as well as game publishers TSR were later dismissed, and a number of agencies including the US Centers for Disease Control would conclude that there was no causal link between roleplaying games and suicide. Writer Rona Jaffe published the novel Mazes and Monsters in 1981, based partly on the apocryphal urban myth of students playing live action roleplaying games in the steam tunnels beneath their college campus and inspired by a similar incident involving the suicide of Michigan State University student James Dallas Egbert III; Jaffe’s book would later be made into a 1982 television movie of the same name starring a young Tom Hanks. Warnke and Todd Design - Author of the 1972 book The Satan Seller, evangelist Michael Warnke’s claimed he was a satanic high priest before his eventual salvation and religious conversion; his story would be debunked in 1991 by the Christian magazine Cornerstone. Conspiracy theorist John Wayne Todd would also be known for his sensational (and later discredited) claims of having been born into a family of devil worshipers, as well as maintaining he was a green beret in the Army during Vietnam. Ironically, Todd would accuse Warnke of plagiarizing material of his concerning the Illuminati. Hollander, Holmberg & Chick - Erik Hollander and Eric Holmberg produced and directed the 1989 Christian documentary Hell’s Bells about the perils of heavy metal rock and roll music, including the belief that hidden satanic messages were encoded backwards in some song lyrics. Fundamentalist Christian cartoonist Jack Chick would become famous for publishing Chick Tracts, small illustrated books used by religious conservatives to preach and proselytize, a number of which featured sensational claims of devil worship and diabolism encroaching on the modern world. Roman Catholics, Jews, Muslims, gays, and Freemasons were also frequent targets, leading organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center to categorize the publisher as a hate group. Nothin' like a little moral "satanic" panic to spice things up...