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About MarkShot

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  1. There was a game called Sim Life from Maxis. I thought it was a pretty interesting introduction to genetics, populations, and selection pressures. Of course, it was not SC4. I look at SC4 and games like Sim Life as products of the golden age of gaming. When the budgets didn't exceed Hollywood blockbusters. Teams were small. Lots of independents. Entire new genres were being conceived. People were doing truly innovative stuff, not simply porting board games to computers.
  2. Actually, I haven't played SC4 for a while. I got too lost in the sandbox ... and a funny thing happened on the way to my next NAM interchange. I found that shooting people in Ghost Recon is for some reason extremely relaxing! Go figure! Have fun!
  3. Just read this page ... http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/SimCity_2000
  4. I generally use WinEdit. WinEdit and WinBatch were products of Wilsonware. They split into separate companies and WinEdit went defunct. Otherwise, I guess I would use Notepad++. Although I only simply use WinEdit to write WinBatch, there is a WinBatch Studie IDE which I don't bother with. As far as AHK is concerned, I am unaware of any IDEs.
  5. Sorry, no I don't have the code to do that. I just know it is possible. Here is other code for another game that works with the mouse and pixels.
  6. Cori, (1) What is the largest map/region which can be made for SC4 in terms of bit map dimensions? (2) Do you know of some Web site similar to Google Maps, but that would allow grayscale topological maps? This is what I have found. Seems a bit of installing, but once you got it done, you can get a grayscale for any location earth for an SC4 region. https://www.matterhackers.com/news/how-to-3d-print-a-map-of-anywhere-in-the-world Too bad I wish I could just click on something in Google and print topological in grayscale.
  7. Speaking of resolution, I am running full screen at 1080p (32" TV). I have don't this for a lot of games, since a big computer monitor just makes games/text look even smaller and I am pretty much 60; which includes my eyes. But 1080p is the same number of pixels on a 27" display as a 63" display ... just larger text. The max zoom for the game looks really crappy and pixelated, but I understand that this is limitation of SC4. That the internal rendering is at a lower resolution than my display, and then the game is upscaling. Is this correct? No way to get a sharp max zoom in at 1080p (Full HD)? Thanks. PS: I actually have two displays: 21" 1600x1200 and 32" 1080x1920. There are a few games I run on the 21" such as shooting pool or DOSBOX games. And only about two I run across both displays, because few games are designed to use floating windows which are not subordinated to the main window.
  8. I love old games. It is a sad truth that AI has not improved over the years commensurate with hardware. So, graphics have followed Moores Law, but not AI. (Or in the case of something like SC, then simulation as opposed to OPFOR AI.) Graphics have always driven the games market. Yes, computers are hitting the walls of physics. So, we see multiple cores and parallelism as opposed to faster instruction processing. But few applications and few games make any use of it. A good example for applications is video editing can speed up linearly with each new physical core. A good example for games is chess. There are chess engines that show the same linear speed jump. But most games are determined by a single core and the GPU. So, we had this trend which always emphasized graphics over AI/game play. Popular culture has made this worse. The smart phone has produced a generation of multi-taskers. (Humans don't actually multi-task well. Psych studies show they simply handle many things poorly. Without a PhD, you just need to look at highway accidents to see this.) We now live in a culture where the ability to concentrate and focus intellect has been reduced. I think we see it in our hobbies; which include games. Yes, not the entire market is like this. But only indie developers blow everything on craft and art. Business go for ROI ... so, the hardcore gamers come up short. Finally, an excellent proof of what a difference graphics make. A few years back, the market for submarine simulations was stone cold dead. Why? A submarine really doesn't have much in the way of epic visuals (compared to a flight sim). Then some European studio realized that they would make a subsim with the visuals of a flight sim. In particular, the water had to be beautiful. You got Silent Hunter 3, and it sold. (But in many ways, the classic AOD {Aces of the Deep} was a better game.) Last night, I looked at SC4 and CS side by side. For the hardcore players, SC4 still has a lot of mileage left in it. Finally, I see SC4 as a product of the Golden Age of PC games. (even though released 2003) The Golden Age was the 90s. New genres were being born constantly; not we have safe templates to follow. Will Wright, Sid Meier, and others were pioneering entirely new models of game play. They were not simply porting board games to PCs, but makings games that could only exist on PC. Budgets and teams and returns had yet to become huge. You could gamble on ideas. SC4 although 2003 was born out of the culture and formula of 1990s and golden age of PC gaming.
  9. One correction. Not undeveloped land. Fully, completed buildings. Unlike the USA, units are sold here as empty shells. But there are many more or less vacant buildings with owned units being held as investments. They add significantly to the city scape footprint, cost of real estate, ... They have every attribute of normal housing except the absence of people. This situation exists in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, China, ...
  10. Forgive me, I am somewhat new. NJZ? (Zombies from New Jersey?) Thanks.
  11. I just reread the Prima Guide and it spoke about an average commute being computed during execution to be used as the defacto constant across a particular tile boundary. But who knows. You either run lots of test cases or reverse engineer the code. Is the NAM engine in JAVA or just the front end of it?
  12. Steve, Sorry, I don't have time to write it for you; nor do I have SC3. But it is possible. As to the user created patch above. You can try that, but running any user offered EXE with very little presence is a security risk. Your AV software may flag it even if there is no problem just for that reason. The other option you have is to buy it from GOG for $6 USD. Not much if you really want it working and don't want to risk running some unknown utility. It looks like those links are dead anyway. I've had to repurchased Ghost Recon and SC4 through GOG due to problems with the original CDs and Win7. At least, they are cheap these days. https://www.gog.com/game/simcity_2000_special_edition
  13. In practice such scripts a fairly simple to code, but tend to take some playing around to make them work smoothly. Especially for games as they often interact with Windows in non-standard ways. But it is type of thing that if it takes a day and you play a game for years, then it is well worth the invested time.
  14. I was in systems. So, I am always enhancing games with along side utilities. These are not mods or patches as they don't alter game files. Rather they run alongside and interact with the UI and/or file system directly. Like I have added things for games like SC4 like hotspots to be able to jump to saved map/zoom locations ... For SC4, I have background process that creates differential backup checkpoints of a tile save (for all regions). That's right multiple save points of minimum size due to differential method and zipping. One of my favorite languages is: www.autohotkey.com Here is what you could do: (1) Despite running script resident; it is only active when SC has focus. So, you can pop out to windows anytime without having any weird affects. (2) It intercepts all mouse movement. (3) Given XL and YL are the pixel bounds of your current resolution (3a) If mouse movement reports >1, >1, <XL or <YL, then pass mouse movement to game. (3b) If mouse movement reports =1, =1, or, =XL or =YL simply pass nothing to the game. You have thus effectively killed edge detection/scrolling by the game.
  15. I am currently living in Taipei, Taiwan. I was driving around yesterday thinking about this place doesn't look like anyplace else ... meaning even in a flexible game it might not be easy to capture the feel of Taipei: (1) The lanes don't line up across intersections (and some cases the streets as well). (2) I learn from SC4 and CS that roundabouts (not common in the USA) are to keep traffic moving. There are many in Taiwan except that they all have traffic lights which seems to defeat the whole purpose. (3a) Multizoning. Like LD/MD residential with LD shops on 1F and 2F. (3b) Multizoning. Little farm patches simply stuck here and there. (I suppose a ploppable vegetable path would cover this.) (3c) Multizoning (underground). Huge underground shopping complexes at major subway junctions. (4) Roads within city limits which wind up mountains with slope and turn sharpness hard to reproduce in a game. (5) Motorcycles everwhere (yes, on side walks) (6) Tons of two way short residential blocks not wide enough for two ways; not gridded; often deadend (7) Large amount of vacant real estate not abandoned (Chinese invest in real estate like in The West people invest in financial markets)