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Cyclone Boom

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Everything posted by Cyclone Boom

  1. Welcome! Seeing as we now have a brand new Cities: Skylines section on the STEX, it's time to get the ball rolling. Whether you'd like to see a specific building or change in the game, here is the official place to request anything custom content related! Thread Guidelines When making a request, it helps to be as specific and descriptive as possible (e.g. what you'd like to see & why you think it'd be useful in the game).Pictures & links to resources are welcome, as long as they're directly relevant to the request (e.g. about a building / structure).Please don't request items from another exchange to be uploaded here (e.g. from Steam Workshop).As described in the STEX Code of Conduct, this requires permission from the original author. Such posts may be removed without notice. This thread is intended to be an ideas base for prospective creators. Please remember, this isn't a place to demand content to be made!
  2. Site Issues Resolved As Dirk hinted earlier, I'm pleased to confirm the issues have now been successfully fixed, and the site should now be back functioning as normal. In summary: User Session Bug The bug was an unexpected side effect of a recent change to the server config. This caused snapshots of user sessions to be cached. These were then allocated to other users simultaneously accessing the site at that moment. Since this wasn't the actual session (which requires authentication), from all evidence we do not believe this allowed users to take control of others' accounts to any extent. This explains why when refreshing the page, you were no longer shown as inheriting that user's profile. In other words, it was only a static 'read only' state, much like if saving a web page where the interactive functions wouldn't work. Template Errors As of around 0130 EDT today, the first signs and reports emerged of various sitewide template issues. This occurred at least on forum threads and the profile hovercards from mousing over usernames & avatars. It was completely unrelated to the user session bug, and was likely a result of a local site process failing to complete in the early hours. After being reset, this was able to do so, and the resulting errors are now no longer present. Since templates are merely a wrapper for content, there has been no loss of data whatsoever. Reposition Photo Option This has been a known issue for a while, and has been fixed in the process. It allows profile covers to be moved and saved into a custom position on your profile page: Note: This option will only appear if your uploaded image is larger than the display area. Site issues are understandably unpredictable and can require lots of trial and error to diagnose, test and fix. Throughout the presence and duration of these issues, on behalf of the staff team, we'd again like to thank you all for your patience. Also for those who responsibly disclosed the initial bug with user sessions. Please let us know in the Bugs Thread if you ever notice anything else. Thanks everyone!
  3. With the presence of the session bug, all staff communications were suspended as a precautionary measure, and this will shortly be re-enabled. EDIT: This has now been restored. It wasn't feasible to disable PMs sitewide since it can only be done on an individual basis per user.
  4. Investigating the new issues with templates, which are causing posts to not display in threads, as well as other loss of functionality. This is believed to be an unrelated to the session bug. Thanks everyone for your patience.

    1. _Michael


      It's a very interesting issue affecting all devices and browsers for me. Is it affecting you @Cyclone Boom or anyone else?

    2. Cyclone Boom

      Cyclone Boom

      Yes, the issue is sitewide affecting all users. As well as threads not viewable, the hovercards on profiles aren't popping up either (e.g. on usernames / avatars). The only place posts seem viewable is in the Activity Stream.

      We'll provide further details as and when they come to light.

    3. Cyclone Boom

      Cyclone Boom

      Dirk is working on it right now.

  5. Update Dirk has implemented a change to the server configuration which aims to resolve the issue. Please continue to let us know if you still notice it occurring, as we're looking for sufficient evidence to prove this is no longer present. As a result, the poll has been reset.
  6. As in right now?
  7. OK, thanks for the additional confirmations. If anyone else notices this occurring, please post below, with or without details of the account you've inherited. Also if you were able to access more than one page in the process, and where you were visiting at the time. This will help to give a clearer indication of the scale and extent of the issue. Or alternatively, feel free to vote in the above poll. Thanks again.
  8. Thank you for responsibly bringing this to our attention. It's a very serious issue which we're aware of, and are working towards a solution. We believe it to be caused by a server config change, and was first noticed as of 16:30 EDT today (1 hour ago).
  9. This read-only thread will be used by site staff for posting updates relating to Simtropolis, such as new features or notable changes. Please post any requests or ideas in the Suggestions Box. Or if you'd like to report a bug or other issue, please use the Bugs Thread. Thanks all!
  10. Simtropolis in the spotlight! Check out our GOG.com community feature, starring no other than the NAM! *:8)

    View the article

    1. JP Schriefer

      JP Schriefer

      That's really nice! I think it deserves a featured slide :P

    2. RandyE


      Without the NAM developers/programmers I don't think SC4 would continue to float, the NAMsters are effective to being the ones maintaining the game in constant development and expansion, as if they've taken over from the original Maxis release continuing to support and expand the game and sustaining its place as a relevant gaming experience.   On this foundation of the NAM continuing user created content is enabled.   Thanks NAM Team. 

    3. airman15


      NAM seriously changed the way SC4 is played and cities are built. By now it would be even more of a question for not using it.

  11. simtropolis

    Some More Minor Forum Changes There's been 3 small, but noticeable changes to the forums: The "Concepts" Forums Renamed Cities: Skylines Concepts & Experiments SimCity (2013) Concepts & Experiments SC4 City-Building Concepts They are now each named respectively: Cities: Skylines Showcase SimCity (2013) Showcase SC4 Showcase The idea here is really a semantics change to better represent what these forums have become focussed around. Since especially in the case of SC4 and C:S, they've specifically become a way of sharing picture progress of your cities inside the multitude of "Show us…" threads. Anyone can post in here, as little or as frequent as you'd like. Whether you have a City Journal or not, it's completely up to you. Forum Consolidation Due to low activity relative to the other Gamer Topics, Strategy Games has been moved into a sub-forum of Gaming Talk. SimCity 3000 Forum on the move According to Clause 32.1/5-2b of Dirktatorship Law, an existing sub-forum is eligible to be moved to the main listing after reaching the 1k posts milestone. After proven activity in the first month since our new SC3K forum was established, it has now been promoted to a dedicated sub-forum above "City-Building Games". This intends to make it more visible and accessible directly from the forum index, and allow discussions with other city-builders (e.g. Banished) to stand out more clearly in their own section.
  12. Yes, from my observations also, there does seem a pattern with missing tags in the code. In turn causing pages to behave unexpectedly. Nice, I've actually used Tidy on occasions. It's a nifty little tool, removing all the bloat and is great for consistency. The site does happen to include a filter called HTML Purifier. This parses all posted content upon submission. In the process ensuring the code meets the required standards, and fixing up any errors or removing unwanted data along the way. It explains why simply saving files usually resolves the major underlying formatting issues. That suggests whenever the site upgraded, the process to re-parse malformed data failed miserably, or wasn't implemented. Now this is in place, what it requires is the system to go through and update each file, just as done when we manually edit & save. That way the purifier is used in the process. Ideally this could be achieved without physically updating a file's "Updated" time field. Then the focus could turn to adding back missing data, improving areas of formatting where needed, and fixing up invalid dependency links. As each file is a case in its own right, all that would have to be a manual effort. Of course where there is consistency, that's where the power of automation is very useful indeed.
  13. Hi everyone, Continuing on from recent discussions, we think it'd be helpful to start collecting evidence about issues with STEX files. Such as: Broken formatting [Example]. Errors when downloading files (e.g. 3D161/G - File not found). Corrupted archives (e.g. broken ZIPs). Invalid or missing dependency links (e.g. [Old] >> [New]). Missing descriptions / screenshots. Irregular download counts (more downloads than views). Any other abnormality, or function not working as intended. So if you discover any of the above, please reply below with this info. The more examples of evidence we collect, the easier it'll be to determine patterns. Afterwards, it can be used for further investigation, in attempt to find solutions once and for all. Supporting details such as screenshots, abnormalities in the HTML, or error codes are also welcome. The following posts will form index lists. Regarding a STEX overhaul, we've got to begin somewhere. I believe focussing on the more serious shortcomings makes sense as a starting point. Once these are hopefully addressed, it'll become a much clearer picture. Looking ahead, it may then lead onto more ambitious projects including the previously mentioned tagging, and the ideas which @rsc204 and @Tarkus discussed (e.g. here and here), amongst others. We're in this together as a community, and continuing on, any input or assistance would be welcome. Some files are not in a good shape, much like old property that needs a little TLC. Just like an architect, although it's a fact of life, people never intended their creations to reach a state of disrepair. As a result, being fair to authors past and present, it's time to commence action for the benefit of the whole community going forward. Thanks!
  14. Thanks, the fixin' has been fixed! In doing so I added the truncated lot information from the included readme file, and also re-formatted the formatting. I get the feeling tables are nearly always to blame for the broken layouts. Either that or copying directly from Word (which brings lots of other useless proprietary HTML with it). I'm still hoping at least the layouts can be fixed via an automated process. In theory, all it'd need is a script to go through and update the descriptions. This wouldn't restore missing data, but would at least add back functionality.
  15. Thanks for the feedback. On the homepage, I've just changed the criteria to hopefully allow a wider range of authors to be listed. It was previously set to only show the most recently submitted images, which understandably favoured newer submissions. Now the listings should more represent the trends of activity over the past few weeks. It still depends on multiple authors uploading to generate variation, though isn't solely determined by time uploaded. A few stats for those who like them... Throughout the history of the Gallery there's been: 2,451 total images. 172 albums. 249 different authors. Average of 10 images per author. Average image size: 780 KB. Between these, 70% have uploaded more than 1 image. Only 12% have uploaded 20 or more. With people who share images in batches, I wouldn't have thought this is intentional to occupy the feed. Instead, more a case of wanting to showcase progress of their cities from multiple perspectives. Much like the STEX, there is no quality control for the Gallery. Anyone is most welcome to upload as many images as they like, for any city-builder they choose, within the scope of the site. For this reason, I don't think at this stage there's a need to restrict this freedom. The Gallery is a relatively new addition, and really the main use has been to host the ST Challenges. It seems most authors who create CJs prefer to keep their entries contained within the dedicated blogs section. That's understandable, since these allow text, images and other media to be combined for the desired effect. There are also more specific options for customising, which is also soon set to be expanded with a sidebar. That's not to say someone couldn't create a CJ in a Gallery album -- it could be interesting. Though so far it's not been the primary usage, most likely since this isn't the expected usage.
  16. Interestingly with SimCity 4, this aspect takes a step backwards...
  17. It certainly helps having a solid software platform. Development does not prosper unless first laying the foundations. Equally though, a website does not fulfil its purpose or potential without being capable of sustaining an audience. This absolutely depends on the support staff upfront and behind the scenes. Also not to forget each and every person who posts and contributes here. You're what makes Simtropolis a community after all, more than just a website. Many people, one internet. Many cities, one community. Many websites, one Simtropolis.
  18. It's a great shame they've never made them available for all to enjoy. The problem is the buildings are applicable and unique specifically to the UK Edition. If they were never released separately for free, making them available would mean we'd be sharing parts of a product we're not legally entitled to distribute. The same applies in any form, and via any medium. The UK buildings are sadly only available once purchasing SC3K as a unique version. They're not in the public domain, which means they are bound to the software. This is purely speculation, but perhaps our best hope is to ask GOG whether they'd be able to negotiate a deal with EA, and bundle them as an extra. Surely from GOG's perspective this can only be a positive. Since apart from digital and DRM-free, it'd provide another incentive for people to purchase. We can't make any promises on decisions out of our hands. But with Simtropolis having contacts from being a GOG affiliate, it could well be a possibility.
  19. I can ask Dirk whether this is doable, but seem to recall the set defined limit exists based on the database structure (MySQL), used for the indexing. There certainly is a strong incentive here if it can be tweaked without ill effect. Since there are many common 3 character terms, also including the NAM and its countless acronyms. This may explain why the search generally performs so badly for common daily usage (Google being much more powerful). In the meantime I've expanded the "0 Results" message to say the following:
  20. As much as I like the idea, I'm afraid with concerns over licenses or legalities, we cannot allow such official content to be extracted and shared here. Generally when anything is sold as an entity (bundled or otherwise), there's a big question mark surrounding redistribution, good willed or not. Yeah, let's not go there... The Maxis files uploaded already are different because they're no longer available on an official exchange, and were originally released as free DLC.
  21. Following the trend of Windows 10, Microsoft has released security update KB3086255 for Windows 7, Windows 8.1 & Windows Vista. Due to "security concerns", this intentionally disables the service which runs the secdrv.sys driver -- a component of the SafeDisk protection which SC4 uses. As a result, this prevents the disk-based (CD) version of SimCity 4 from running, and you may receive an "Access Denied - Please login with administrator privileges and try again" or similar permissions error. Many other legacy games are also affected. It would seem the update simply disables the service, rather than removing secdrv.sys completely (like Windows 10 has). NOTE: This shouldn't impact users of the digital game, such as from Amazon, Steam or Origin, as this doesn't rely on the same copy protection. Full details of the update are as follows: Security update for the graphics component in Windows September 8, 2015 (KB3086255) https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/3086255 Workarounds 1) Purchase SC4 digitally Online retailers such as Amazon, GOG, Steam, Origin or GamersGate offer a digital version of SC4 Deluxe. This comes as a download without the need for the CD to start. It's also fully patched and doesn't use the same method of copy protection, so you can install KB3086255 without issue and play the game as normal. In the case of Amazon & GOG, the game is currently sold DRM free, meaning it starts by itself without a client service (e.g. Origin, Steam). During seasonal sales, you can often purchase the game for as little as $5. 2) Redeem your SC4 Serial Number You may be able to redeem your original Serial Number (product key), found at the back at the CD's manual. This may entitle you to a free digital copy of the game, with the same benefits of not needing other workarounds. With Origin you can try contacting customer support, who can usually assist with this. As well as the serial number, you may need to provide physical evidence that you own the boxed copy, such as screenshots of the game's case & disks. Other online retailers may also offer a similar option, so it's best to contact them directly. NOTE: Use at your own risk! The following suggestions will allow SimCity 4 to run, although they could potentially expose your system to security vulnerabilities (which the update intends to bypass). Therefore it's your own responsibility should any issues arise from not installing KB3086255, however the risk level of security flaws being exploited. 3) Uninstall KB3086255 If updates are set to install automatically, you may have this update already installed. In which case, to allow the CD game to start again, without the need for any workarounds, you'll need to uninstall the update: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/24373-windows-update-uninstall-update.html A quick way to check if it's installed: Enter KB3086255 in the "Search Installed Updates" box at the top right. Note: To reduce the risk, it might be worth disconnecting from the internet whilst the game is running. Also it's recommended to ensure your anti-virus has the latest protection definitions. 4) Hide KB3086255 If you haven't installed KB3086255, it might be worth hiding it from the list of updates: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/24376-windows-update-hide-restore-hidden-updates.html 5) Enable secdrv.sys on demand However if you wish to retain the update, the below instructions (from the knowledge base article) describe how to start the service on demand, which should allow SC4 to run from the CD when you require: Using a script Alternatively, see the following link for a way to start the service using a batch file: https://www.reddit.com/r/simcity4/comments/3kmfmi/quick_and_dirty_solution_to_recent_windows_update/ List of systems the update is offered to: Feel free to post any comments, questions or suggestions below.
  22. We considered this, but thought tags are a more effective method of filtering. Since sub-categories are separate from being listed in the main category. At least for now anyway, and this could always be re-evaluated at a later stage once more files are added. Terrain vs. Maps I suppose this all originates from the terminology Maxis used with the game at the time, way back when these official files were available. Also the Terrain Generator, which functions as a development tool. Since we've been accustomed to SC4 where they're called Maps, it probably makes sense using this nowadays for the sake of clarity. I'd tend to agree that a map encompasses terrain (the landscape), and and also the area used for building a city (the location). Interesting to note the config files included use the basic naming scheme: mapspic_<NAME>.gif So how about a compromise and append "(Map)" to the title? E.g. San Francisco Real City Terrain (Map) Then it hopefully avoids any confusion, and helps to clarify this both ways.
  23. By now I'm sure many of you are well aware of our newly-founded SimCity 3000 forum and STEX categories. For those who haven't been keeping up with progress, there's been some really interesting discussions so far. Exploring areas of the game in more detail, including buildings, conversions, map generation, terrain & water, hex editing, custom tree props, and most recently property modding. Thanks everyone for your contributions so far, whether you've made one or multiple posts. And as a result, there's been some interesting trends in forum activity: Past 30 days Past 15 days Past 7 days (All data current as of 9th June 2017, 18:00 EDT) It just shows that with enough surrounding interest, there's still plenty of things to discover in a game released the previous century. OK, one year before the millennium, but still... Want to be notified on new topics and uploads? Follow the Forum Follow the Files
  24. Excellent, what a novel idea! I'd stay well clear of that observation deck mind you...
  25. Wow, great job! I must say this is such a significant revamp to the neighbourhood. Both the tree and ground texture which adds more variation and life to the landscape. With all those empty spaces, the first pic looks like more a wasteland area in comparison... Tip: To easily compare the difference, click an image above which opens the popup box, then use arrow keys to easily navigate back and forth.