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Hamish

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  1. I'll add a few more comments in addition to what's already been discussed; The sites users are international, and we like to have a wide moderation base that can react to issues in different time zones. We don't actively seek this out when considering people for a moderators position, but it's a great benefit of having a large moderating group. Moderating is a voluntary position, and we understand that not everyone can dedicate their time to ST 24/7. Some can only fit in a couple nights a week, and that's fine. It's really useful to have a few eyes on the same area, so that when one of those eyes isn't looking, we have another set that can help out. We love having a broad range of views on issues behind the scenes. It's helpful being able to discuss issues with everyone before we take a stance on any situation so that our actions are representative of the morals of ST. It keeps all of the staff on the same page and means that we don't have dominant personalities orchestrating how the sites rules are enforced, but we have one unified stance. Lastly, the moderating team is pretty awesome, and I wouldn't want to have any less members than we do now. We don't have much to moderate these days, not in comparison to 10 years ago, but it's awesome having this great team who like to get stuck into other projects, are always willing to give their feedback and are generally just great people
  2. This is the new, OFFICIAL, thread for all City Journals. If you have any CJ's that are made on Macs and you wish for it to be listed here, or you know of a CJ that was made on a Mac, post it here. Include in the post: The name of the CJ - And a link to the first page. Only CJ's made on macs are allowed to feature here: Lets get started then: 1. The United States of Westernland - USA Patriot 2. Marygreen - Bank 3. The New Carpathia Confederation of Planets - Zelgadis 4. The Mayors of Ellis Valley - a vanilla cj - Benedict 5. A UK village - Barnatom 6. Cadott Bay - Barnatom LOCKED 7. Corrino Region: The Adventures of DaVinci Brown - Vigilante1987a 8. Welcome to Metal City - Nightshiver00 9. DanWalker8's 'Illinois Region - DanWalker8 10. My Region Of Locksley - Redroverr 11. Bai' Kaiashi - Sky Guy 12. Port Sin - Benedict 13. Motonui - Hamish 30-10-08 14. The New Carpathia Confederation of Planets II: Destiny's Call - Zelgadis 30-10-08 15. Carpathian Short Stories - Zelgadis 30-10-08 16. Tegville Metropolitan Region - TEG24601 -10-08 17. Soviet States of America - John Kirby 18. Timbuktu Region Diary by DAB_City NEW 19. New Seattle Metropolitan Region by TEG24601 NEW 20. Hanako City by LoonyMan NEW If anyone has a banner, or something for this thread, that would be appreciated!
  3. Simtropolis Best Picture Competition This is the easy, self running picture competition that everyone loves and enjoys. Two pictures up at one time, with members voting on which one should win. Once an image reaches a specific amount of votes then a new member posts their picture to challenge the winner. If a member beats 4 members in a row their image is added to the hall of fame, and two new members pictures are posted for voting. Visit the Hall of Fame Album to view winning entries! Rules: (Updated! 19 Nov 2015: Make sure you check the revised guidelines!) New rules are highlighted. 1. During any one round that is active, in any given category, only 2 entrants can compete at a time. Entrance of any new photos during an ongoing round will not be valid to compete in that given round. 2. As stated, the competition will run in rounds. In order for a picture to qualify for the ST Hall of Fame, the image must win exactly 3 rounds consecutively. Wins broken by losses cannot count towards HoF induction, but may try again in a subsequent round. 3. Rounds will run to a best of 9 votes. This means an image must receive 5 votes to win each round. For example, possible scoring sequences could be: 4. Each individual round is subject to a 7 day timeframe in which eligible votes may be cast. This time starts when the initial vote is made. a. A round may end before this timeframe if an entry reaches the required 5 votes (see rule #3 above). b. After the allotted time is up, if a winner hasn't already been declared, the image with the highest votes accumulated will be declared the winner of the round. c. In the event of a tie between the entrants at the end of the 7 day round, a tie-breaking vote must be cast before the round can officially end with a definite winning entrant. 5. A competitor having competed against a particular photo from an opposition competitor cannot compete against the same photo and/or member [until after four rounds or eventual elimination of the opposition competitor's photo]. 6. Participants challenging a picture must quote the original picture in their challenging post, this makes it easier for voters to determine which picture is better, and keeps all current images in one place. 7. First in first served. The first contestant to post will be the challenging image for the round. 8. All city-building simulation games are available to enter the competition. 9. An image that has competed once already in this thread, or other threads involving image competition, can be re-entered as many times as the user/competitor wishes. This is, however, strictly under the condition that the image at hand has not already won another image competition within Simtropolis Challenges, or the general competition thread here. 10. There is a standard requirement for any entrants to name their images accordingly, and round by round, image re-posters and posting competitors must display the name of these images, alongside competing members' usernames. Voting: For Voters, please follow these simple guidelines to keep voting manageable and in order: When voting for a picture post which picture you are voting for, and the current tally for both pictures. i.e. Author A 4 - Author B 2.------------------------------------ If your vote creates a winner, announce that they have won and invite a new contestant. Also, if you jump to a new page with your vote, quote the previous images so they transfer to the next page.------------------------------------ Voters who cast the ending vote for the active round cannot participate an image immediately after the round is over. A 30 minute cool-down period after the vote is made must take place before you can present a competing image (Unless someone has already presented one within the cool-down period).------------------------------------ Also, as a matter of convenience, when voting for a competitor please highlight the competitor's username that you are specifically voting for. This makes the voting counts easier to assess in the case of a miscount or bump in the results.------------------------------------ Participants that have entered a round, but lost to fellow competitor cannot enter a new image until four rounds have passed. That being said, a competitor having competed against a particular photo from an opposition competitor cannot compete against the same photo and/or member [until after four rounds or eventual elimination of the opposition competitor's photo].------------------------------------ It is advisable that members, competitors and those whom this may concern not solicit or manipulate votes to gain advantages in a round. It is definitely disallowed to cheat out votes or falsifying votes in anyway. The rules are known by many, most of you know how this runs and works, so it should be no surprise to you. We are really excited to be bringing this competition to you here on Simtropolis, we think you’ll really like the tweaks that we’ve given it to integrate this competition into ST. By the way, once a suitable awards system has been restored, all entries into the HoF will receive a custom achievement for your awards cabinet and profile. This competition will run indefinitely, so have fun, we are eagerly awaiting the first HoF entry Now, we need two images to start us off. Who wants to go first?
  4. That was by design. We felt that in the past we had conducted interviews with lots of the regular members, and we wanted to get an insight into some of the people that you might not have heard from before but are doing great things around the site. We did try to get a couple 'big names' in there too, and I thought that their contributions helped balance out the less known members. Maybe there were more CJers than BATers, we'll try and balance that a bit better if we do interviews again next time. Heard you, and everyone else, loud and clear! We'll work out a way to have that better for next time. We may be limited for what we can do here in this respect, but we have just under a years worth of testing before it rolls around again, so we hope we can work out a more elegant solution. It sounds like we will try to keep a hold of doing this through posts, as it had some quite important benefits that you all appreciated. We'll streamline the process for next time! We could do that. My view is that you should be trying to nominate just one person for one award because there can only really be one definitive BAT of the Year. I can understand that it is difficult to make those clear distinctions sometimes, and that it might be best to remove the restriction on nominating only one member per award and instead limit it to the amount of times you can nominate a member for any award. As we continue to count the nominations we'll be taking the data and scaling the list back to a smaller amount based around how many nominations each award received. We will probably conduct another discussion next year, like we did with this year, around the awards list. Although next time we will bring our new refined list to the discussion and ask for advice on what else should be included. That way the list can stay responsive to what's happened that year through community discussion, and be more concise by removing superfluous awards. Keep the the suggestions coming, these have been great and will really help us formulate our plans for next year!
  5. The STEX has less functionality than the workshop for sure, and we can't really do much about that, but modders have been submitting files on the STEX by linking to their workshop file. It works well enough, but further integration is beyond our control. I think recently we've had a good increase of use in our C:S forums. I see where we are now with C:S is a similar analogue to where we were in 2003-4 with the EA exchange. We fill the same demand with C:S players as we do with SC4 players, albeit with a reduction in scope from the workshop being a much better system than EA had ever implemented. We provide space for people to come and discuss the game, collaborate with others, share what they've done, talk with likeminded people. There are other forums for that too, the steam forums are similar to the EA forums. I think we are seeing a lot more new members come through in the C:S section because they are looking for a space that we were looking for 10 or more years ago. I hope they find that we provide that space for them, but we will need to continue developing the site to keep up with the different needs of this group.
  6. The Nominations are now CLOSED! The greatest time of year has arrived, the Trixies are upon us and the nominations have officially opened. The Trixies are a celebration of all types of community contributions, ranging from STEX uploads to CJs, all the way to forum posts. It's the perfect opportunity to celebrate all the amazing content shared over the past two years, and give a special 'thanks' to your fellow members. We last held the Trixies for the year 2014, so understandably, we have a lot to catch up on. This year things are little different. We won't be holding just one ceremony, but two at the same time: One each for 2015 and 2016. Since we last held the Trixies Simtropolis has been through a lot of change, which unfortunately means we’ve had to change the way were conducting the nominations this year. However, we think these changes will make it easier for you guys to nominate members, and continue to nominate throughout the nominations period. The biggest difference is that you will be posting your nominations on the forums. Don’t worry though, no one apart from the admins will be able to see your nominations, just like it was before! Let’s go through how this is all going to work. Nominations Closed on April 5th How To Nominate As we’ve mentioned before, nominating members for awards will be a little different this year. Read the guides below to know how you are going to be nominating members for awards this year, and take note of some slight rule changes which will allow you to nominate members for multiple awards. Where To Nominate This year, all your nominations will be submitted as posts in the forum linked below. Submit Trixie Nominations Here! This forum behaves differently from every other forum on Simtropolis. No one else can see any of the posts or topics you create within it. In lieu of our traditional nominations system, which is now incompatible with ST, this will be where all of your nominations are submitted this year. This comes with some great benefits though! You’ll be able to see all of your nominations at all times, so you can remember what you have nominated and who you have nominated, and you’ll be able to edit these at any time just in case you nominated someone for the wrong award. It may feel a bit weird at first, but trust us that only admins will see your nominations. Submitting and Formatting your Nominations Since everything has changed, how will you be submitting nominations? Its easy, just follow our guide below! 1. Firstly, take a look through the List of Trixie Awards for 2015 - 2016. 2. You’ll first find an award which you want to nominate someone for and copy its award title. 3. From there navigate to the Submit Trixie Nominations Here! forum and create a new topic. 4. Paste the award title into the topic title box, and add a couple of tags: The name of the member you are nominating. The year you are nominating them for. 5. Then in your post, please include the following information: The Title of the award. Who you are nominating. The Year you are nominating this award for. A short Description as to why you think they deserve this award. To help ensure you include these details, feel free to copy and paste the following template into your posts to match the guidelines: Don’t forget to add this info for each of your nominations, or else they may not be counted. I’ll repeat these briefly below: Topic Title: The Award Title. Tags: Nominated member, and Year. Post Text: Award Title, Member Name, Year, Short Description. To submit another nomination, simply start another topic. Ceremonies for both 2015 and 2016 We last held the Trixies for the year 2014, and due to issues we weren’t able to open up the nominations last year for 2015’s content. During these nominations we invite you to nominate content from 2015 as well as 2016. In the end, we aren't just holding one ceremony, but two at the same time: One each for 2015 and 2016. During the run up to the nominations opening we’ve had a series of discussions, interviews, and retrospectives aiming to highlight content from 2015 and 2016 in the hopes that you won’t forget what has been created during those years. This is why it is important for you to distinguish what year you are nominating a member for. Rule Changes This year we are making a slight change to how many times you can nominate a member. Traditionally you could only nominate any given member for one award. But this time, this rule is being expanded. It used to be that someone would only create amazing buildings, or only write beautiful CJs. However, now we have members who cover lots of different parts of the site, for the previous Trixies it was increasingly difficult to nominate them for just one award. This time we are making the change to allow you to nominate a member for up to 3 different awards in both 2015 and 2016. We hope that you submit multiple nominations for a single member to awards in different sections of the Trixies, but we aren't making that a specific rule as there are awards in sections which relate to very different skill sets. Use this new ability wisely... Cities: Skylines in the Trixies Over the past two years we’ve seen the release of a new game which has swept Simtropolis, Cities: Skylines. In the past we’ve never had another city building game which made as much impact on our community as SimCity 4 originally did, so this is the first time the Trixies have had to accommodate another game. You’ll notice that most of the descriptions for awards no longer call out any specific game, that is because all of these awards are intended to be relatable to both games. When nominating, remember the great content created for both games these previous two years, rather than the content from a single game. Quick FAQ Multiple or single threads for nominations? Posting each nomination in its own thread is preferred, as this helps with the processing. Really though, it's up to you. If posting in a single thread is easier for you to manage or edit, that's perfectly fine. At the end of nominations, the Llama Crew will attempt to count anything inside the forum. For both years, how many nominations per user? In each year, you may nominate any individual member up to 3 times. So this means for both 2015 & 2016 combined, you could nominate someone up to 6 times. Who can I nominate? Any Simtropolis user (member or staff) can be nominated for any award. The processing will determine whether a given user is eligible. How many custom "Ad Hoc" awards may I nominate? As many as you'd like! Feel free to be creative with the title & description if a default award isn't suitable for what you have in mind. Is there a limit to how many nominations I can submit? Yes, the sky. Final Words We hope you have a great Trixies... And remember, Nominate early and Nominate Often!
  7. That happened to me the last time I was in chat too. It might have something to do with losing support for the chat client, but it is probably just a glitch.
  8. At a glance we can't be sure, but we will for sure let you know what the split is when the counting has finished! Even if 2015 gets a third of the nominations, that's much better than 2014. But we will let you know what the numbers are when we have them! There were a lot of default awards this year, we came to these by getting suggestions from the community, taking the ones which were suggested the most, and then pairing these down by staff consensus on what makes the most sense to include. Going forward we will be reducing these again, this time we will use nomination counts to help us make this decision. I think, as an experiment, the list building worked really well, thank you to everyone who helped out. Now it's on us to continue the development of these lists so that they stay appropriate to the content being created and nominated for. Now, off to start counting!
  9. We will for sure be doing some trimming for Trixies 2017. But it is so hard to get that balance right, 2013 and 2014 had lists which were probably too short, 2015 and 2016 have lists which are probably too long. I think we'll be able to find that balance for 2017. Either way, the community discussion we had helped us to reform what the base awards are, now we can use nominations to decide which ones are appropriate to continue on to the next ceremony.
  10. Hey, welcome to Simtropolis! :)

    I just have to say, your YouTube Cities Skylines series' are amazing,  a must watch for me every week. I'm sure our members would be enthralled watching your videos :8) they've made me rethink how I build my cities.

    Hope to see you around the forums sometime :thumb:

  11. Looks like we've just passed 300 nominations! There's just over a day left to submit your nominations, so if your still waiting, now is the best time to nominate
  12. Wow, we have quickly passed that mark! Keep it up guys
  13. Trixies 2015 - 2016 Default Awards List - Trixies 2015 - 2016 are upon us, and its time to start submitting your nominations. Listed below are the default awards we are suggesting you nominate members for this time. There are more here than we have included in previous years, this was obtained by discussion with the community and further narrowed down by staff discussion. Each category, Custom Content, City Journals and Community is broken down into three subsections, this will help you in narrowing down which sections you are most involved with. Visit the Nominations Guidelines topic on how nominating has changed this year. Nom Nom Nom... Custom Content Awards Overall STEX Community Favourite When asked who was the STEX Community Favourite, most people chose this individual. Best Development Thread This award is for the person who curates the best development thread, through either providing an insight into their own creative process, writing tutorials or just by being the best at documenting the twists and turns of creating content for the STEX. Most Useful Feedback in Custom Content Threads This award is for the person who provides great, behind the scenes support for other people's BATs. Helping out, giving valuable instruction, and doing those annoying but necessary tasks needed to bring a quality BAT to the STEX. Highest Overall Quality This award goes to the person whose creations are consistently outstanding. Best Effort In Compatibility Most clear work dedicated to avoid one custom content to break the game when used in combination with others Best Large Scale Project The scale and scope of this project is so impressive that it's taken a great amount of work to pull off. This award goes to the member who has created the best large scale project. Most Beautiful Small Addition This award goes to the member who has created a tiny yet extremely beautiful addition to the game. Best Re-creation This BAT is the best recreation of a specific, real life building, done with total devotion to complete and thorough accuracy. Most Important Discovery/Innovation It seems that some relatively small steps for Modders can lead to some pretty giant leaps for simkind. This award has been invented for the one who sits at the desk in the Mission Control of Modding. Houston, we have a Trixie! Most Inventive Creation With many different cities come many different ways which buildings or creations could adapt to their surroundings, and the only way to overcome this is to make an inventive creation to cover all bases. This member created the most inventive addition to our game. Highest Technical Achievement in Custom Creations This award goes to the individual who has pushed the boundaries of custom content beyond what we once knew, and who have shared their discoveries with the rest of the community. Most Realistic Creation This award goes to the member who has created a BAT which is extremely realistic. This is a fictional building, yet is so well detailed we could be forgiven in assuming it was a real world recreation. Most Useful Creation These creations fill a void that many of us feel came with the vanilla game. They are useful because they make our cities feel more complete. BATs & LOTs BAT of the Year The nominations are in, and it was decided that this BAT was the best creation this year. BATer of the Year This member is the best overall BATer this year. Multiple BATs at an outstanding level of quality, mixed with their ability to constantly help others in BAT threads makes this member the best BATer this year. Best BAT Newcomer of the Year Big splashes have been made in the community this year by this new BATer! Best Industrial BAT of the Year Industrial parks are an absolute essential in our cities. But they are often under represented as BATers choose more glamorous subjects. That is not the case for this member. We feel a sneeze coming on due to their dusty realness, because industrial structures have never felt a more reverential touch. Big Building of the Year Buildings come in all sizes, but this is the best skyscraper, highrise or major complex created this year. Small Building of the Year Buildings come in all sizes, but this is the best small building, house, shack, service, warehouse created this year. Most Improved BATer This award goes to the BATer who has shown the most improvement during the year. Most Luminous Illuminator Lighting, or more specifically night lighting, creates such completely dramatic changes to the way we view our BATs in game. This award goes to the BATer who provided lighting that is the most realistic, most technically advanced, most beautifully fitting, or even the most outlandishly eye-catching. Favourite BAT team This award goes to the community's favourite BAT team. Lot of the Year Buildings must go on some kind of LOT, and this LOT is the best we have seen this year. Best Lotter This award recognizes the skill of the individual who puts a high level of polish to each lot creation, and has received acclaim from the community with every lot that is created. Best ReLOT Taking an existing building and giving it a new lease of life is an important skill. This award goes to the member who has created the best reLOT this year. Mods, Maps & Others Mod of the Year All votes are now in, and it has been decided by the community that this Mod was the best creation this year. Most Dedicated Modder This award recognizes the Modder who has stretched most to go above and beyond, to bring us their best possible work in some shape or form. Modding Tool of the Year Modding Tools are constantly being created to advance our creations. This award goes to the Modding Tool which has changed our game the most this year. Map of the Year This award goes to the Map of the Year, the best map which has graced the STEX this year. Best New Mapper This award goes to the Map Rookie of the Year Most Creative Map This award goes to the creator that has satisfied our need for maps that don't follow the normal trends. Not only are they playable, but they are the most original and creative map of this year Best Real World Recreation Map People love creating cities in real world locations, this map is the best recreation of a real world location. Best Fictional Map This award goes to the best fictional map created this year. Best Automata SC4 players are in love with their automata. We love to cruise the streets, hop a bus, ride the rails, and fly the friendly skies. This award goes to the member who has ensured we can do all of the above. City Journals Awards Overall City Journal of the Year The nominations are in, and it was decided that this City Journal was the best creation this year. Best City Journal Startup This award goes to our favourite new City Journaler whose first CJ has become an immediate favourite. Best Work in Progress City Journal Some people not only show their finished cities, but also the construction and all other building and planning processes. This award is for the member who's done the best behind the scenes Work-In-Progress presentation. Most Awe-inspiring City Journal This award goes to the City Journal that has held members in awe longer than any other CJ this year. Most Eye Catching and Original Title As a good headline is what draws us into a newspaper article, a good title draws us into a CJ. This award goes to the member with the best CJ title. Best Planning The best planner award recognizes the mayor who thinks ahead, looks at the region, and establishes a plan for what to do next before proceeding. Best Attention to Detail Many CJ's include pictures that are zoomed in to the max, showing their detailed downtowns, lots, and other features. This award is for the CJ that pays a great deal of attention to detail and perfection. Best Functional City Journal This award goes to the City Jorunaler who has created the city which could function the best in the real world. This Journal pays close attention to functionality over everything else. Best Narration This award goes to the City Journal that makes us feel at home in the city, providing familiar landmarks while telling us the story of a city Best Overall Design City Journalers pay close attention to how every part of their Journals look, from how their entries are formatted and posted, to how compose the images they post. This award goes to the member who has the best designed City Journal overall. Best Photoshopping This award goes to the member who has the best photoshopping of any CJ. From creating different worlds, to balancing image colours, this member used Photoshop to enhance their images in the most creative way possible. Best Roadgeek Every City Journal must have roads, but the recipient of this award paid attention to the detail of each and every road to ensure they had proper functionality and use for the Sims who would be using it everyday. Best Use of Added Media Not all that we see in City Journals is real. But of them all, this CJ stood out above them all with the best use of added graphics, sound, or video in a CJ at Simtropolis. Most Miraculous Mosaic A picture can be worth a thousand words. Three pictures meticulously stitched together can be worth a million. This award goes to member with the mosaic that shows them the most! Content Best Airports We've seen many examples of airports in CJs this year, this members CJ has paid close attention to the design of their Airport, and we celebrate them with this award. Best Application of a Single Public Transportation System This award recognises the the CJ who has paid close attention to a specific Public Transportation System. Bus, Rail, Monorail, Tram or Ferry, this system is the best, and inspires others to replicate its greatness. Best Transportation Network Not everyone drives to work, and not all businesses ship their goods by road. This CJ shows the power of a well-designed public transport network, from the smallest bus stop to the largest rail terminal. Ships, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles; this award goes to the member who presents the best of the first three. Best CBD Every major city has a CBD, and our CJs love creating CBDs of their own. This award goes to the best example of CBDs that we've seen in CJs this year. Best Custom Lotting Most CJs make use of the great creations uploaded to the STEX, but this member has gone beyond that to create amazing custom LOTs for thier own city. Best Industry The gritty grime of the industry doesn't escape most cities, but this member has fully embraced the smog and pollution of their industry and created CJ which showcases how great their industrial zone is. Best MMP Use Mayor Mode Ploppables give us a great way to build amazing places within our city, adding an extra level of detail to our cities. This member has fully embraced MMPs to create an amazing area within their CJ. Best Natural Environment/Landscape Area Some CJs are designed to show off the beautiful beaches, river valleys, and mountains in their region. This award is for the CJ that best showcases the region's natural terrain. Best Parks Sometimes you need a break from the concrete jungle. Scenic beauty and recreation are elements of this award. This creator has created the ultimate in parks using a naturalistic setting. Best Road Map This award goes to the member who has documented their city in the most amazing road map we have seen this year. Best Rural/Agriculture Cities and skyscrapers are great, but rural towns are fantastic too. This award is for the CJ that best depicts a rural area. Best Suburban Area This award goes to the member who pays the best attention in designing realistic and liveable suburbs. Best Urban Area This award goes to the member who has created the best city overall. Many CJs exhibit great parts of their city, but this award goes to the CJ which creates the best city overall. Best Use of Railroads Railroads are the backbone of many cities, transporting freight or commuters. This award goes to the CJ which has given us the best example of what a railroad can be. Most Effective Use of Custom Content This award goes to the best use of Lots and BATs in a single City Journal. The owner of this Journal had many different brands of custom content, but had them placed so that they all complimented each other in perfect harmony Style Best North American Style City Journal This award goes to the CJ which is the best example of a city created in the style of other North American cities. Best Asian Style City Journal This award goes to the CJ which is the best example of a city created in the style of other Asian cities. Best European Style City Journal This award goes to the CJ which is the best example of a city created in the style of other European cities. Best Fictional City Journal This award goes to the best fictional city, a city which is neither sci-fi nor a real world recreation, but a city with its own style, history and location. Best Real World Recreation Many CJs are based off of real life locations, or share similar styles with real cities. This CJ goes beyond that to have the closest recreation of a real world location. Best Science Fiction City Journal The member who wins this award really deserves a lot of credit for designing cities and a region that we could only imagine in a Science Fiction novel. Best Historical City Journal City Journals introduced a new way of learning and living a bit of history. From the Roman Empire to the 19th century, some players decided to go beyond the four predetermined tilesets and write their own little part in history. This award goes to the member who has better told us ancient stories and ways of life. Best Grimy/Grunge City Journal This award goes to the CJ with the best dirty, grimy, yucky, garbage/crime infested cities. Quite a few cities out in the CJ's have some nasty areas. This award would go to the best grimy city in the Journals section. Most Entertaining City Journal This award is for the City Journal that is really fun. The text, the screenshots, and the everyday life of the theme city are very entertaining. Most Informative City Journal This award goes to the CJ which keeps us informed about real world events or topics, through its narrative it is able to keep us up to date with important topics or current events. Most Weird City Journal This award goes to the weirdest CJ that we've read this year. Community Awards Overall Best Avatar Some avatars are interesting; some not so much. This award goes to the member whose avatar was deemed the most entertaining. Merit of Team Spirit Without teamwork, a project can become chaos. This award goes to the team best able to overcome adversity and to stick together through thick and thin. This team has shown real dedication to making these projects work. Best Captain Every group has an enduring leader steering the ship. This award goes to the leader which has aided our groups the most this year. Best Collaboration Many creators have different strengths in different areas of their craft. This award goes to the members who combined their talents to create the best collaboration on any project. Chat Insomniac Award This award goes to the member who is up until the wee hours of the morning chatting and providing buckets of laughter at the same time. Friendliest Chatter This award recognizes the individual who has always been helpful and chatty in the chat rooms. Enduring Dedication Award Simtropolis has changed much through the ages. The award goes to a member whose dedication, work, and contributions have helped make the site evolve into its current form. Funniest Overall Member Pwning a troll is funny and all, but we don't have that many trolls anymore. While the others are waiting for a troll to declare their superiority over, this member keeps the rest of us laughing. Most Consistently Helpful Member The most consistently forumer is recognized for tirelessly answering questions when possible, often answering the same ones over and over with good cheer, is always eager to share knowledge and point the uninitiated toward the light. Most Improving Member Occasionally, a member will get off to a rocky start. Some never recover but others manage to learn the rules and become solid members of the community. This award is for the Simtropolian who has shown the greatest increase in socialization skills during their time here. Most Welcoming to Newcomers Some just give a simple "Welcome to the site" to new members who join the site. This member was always there to meet and greet newcomers to the community. Technical Denizen The threads in our Bugs & Technical Issues forums discuss many issues. This award honours the best techie who answers the wide range of questions that people raise. Staff Eye Within the Storm The staff member with the ability to keep their head when all about them people are losing theirs and blaming it on them. Forum Specific Friendliest Forumer This award recognizes the most friendly forumer, one who is always piping in with good cheer and making newbies feel at home. Highest Quality Poster Many members have high post counts, some stretching well into the ten-thousands. But sometimes its quality, not quantity, that matters. This award goes to the person who may not have a high post count, but puts a lot of thought into their posts to ensure that each one matters. Best Instructions in Gameplay/Strategies This award recognises the member who is consistently helpful in conveying gameplay strategies to others, either through the use of tutorials or suggestions in threads or CJs. Best Picture Post in a "Show us your ..." Thread Sometimes it's best to just show the world your masterpiece. This award goes out to the most fascinating addition to the "Show us your ..." threads. Best Tutorial While the game may be ten years old, new things and new ways of doing old things keep popping up. This award is for the member who demonstrated a useful procedure in a tutorial. Most Engaging Off-Topic This award recognizes the member whose contributions in the Off-Topic section are above and beyond the usual high quality. The winner has a positive attitude, and engages the readers of their posts by making relevant and useful comments. Most Informed Member on Real World Events This award goes to the member who is most likely to be reading the newspaper right now. This member is constantly engaged with global events and is relied on to keep us informed of what's going on in the world today. Other Most Active Non-City Builder This award is for the user who does not play a city builder game, but still contributes a massive amount to the Simtropolis forums. Most Creative But Impossible to Solve Request Sometimes we get questions or requests for a creation which is so unique that it is probably impossible to create. This award goes to the member whose request is so unique that it is impossible to create for our games. Most Promising Announcement Fulfilled We are promised great things from many creators, and are usually treated to the completion of their announcement. This award goes to the member who promised the most and has finally delivered their amazing concept to reality. Saddest City Builder Moment Caught on Picture This award goes to the creator who managed to document the lowest moment of their city. This could be from a natural disaster, a silly bug or from an incredibly bad planning decision. This members misfortune gave us a smile, and so we reward them with this token of our gratitude. Simtrop Walking Library Every community has a member who knows so much about the site we belong to. They are always there to provide us with historical facts about Simtropolis, and this award recognises them within the history of ST. The Member Who Was Everywhere This award goes to a member whose dedication, work, and contributions have helped make the site a welcoming and enjoyable place for all. We Miss You; Come Back In an online community such as this, people come and go as Real Life Syndrome takes over. Sometimes, we lose someone who we really would rather have kept among us. This award goes to the person we miss the most and wish to hear from in the next year. Ad Hoc Awards Remember, if you don’t see the award you wanted to give someone listed above, you may create a custom "Ad Hoc" award. Create a title, and write why you are giving them the award in your description. The Admins will review all custom requests and decide if the award has enough merit to be given to that member.
  14. Haha, whoops
  15. Two weeks left to nominate content for a Trixie award!
    Nominate content from either 2015 or 2016 :D

  16. It's usually just content uploaded within the year. In some cases updates will count, the NAM for instance, but they only count when there are big changes to content. Yes, each year is being counted seperatly from each other. Two ceremonies, held at the same time!
  17. Looks like an amazing place to live! You'd probably see me either; watching the Football, of both kinds; on the baseball field; at that fantastic amusement park; or on the back nine of the Northfield Country Club! Great looking city, I will be following its progress!
  18. As part of the upcoming Trixie Season, the Staff team have been interviewing various prominent members of the community and asking them about their favourite STEX files and City Journals over the past two years, inspiration and creative workflow, along with life outside of Simtropolis. So without further adieu, please welcome our next guest @Tarkus, which many of you will know as one of the leaders of the NAM team. An Interview with Tarkus Hi Tarkus, how are you? Alright, though fairly busy of late—having two jobs will do that to you. Many people know you as one of the brains behind the NAM, but that wasn’t always the case was it? How did you get into modding SimCity? I first picked up SimCity 4 Deluxe sometime in early 2004, and played it quite regularly in vanilla form for close to two years. And then I ran across Simtropolis almost by accident, and as soon as I saw the NAM (Version 19 back then), the early prototype of something called an RHW, and all the other content that had been made for the game, I was absolutely over the moon. My first real effort at making content was a set of road sign lots, which were on the STEX for awhile, and picked up a modest number of downloads. I kind of fell inactive for a bit after that, as I was finishing up my master's thesis, and then didn't have reliable internet access for awhile. Once I finally got back onto the site in late September 2006, the thing that immediately hit me was that most of the transit modding community had seemingly gone silent, and a lot of the promising things that were in the works had come to a halt—including the RHW, which I had really taken a liking to, even in its early state. The NAM itself hadn't seen a release in a number of months, either. I had really come to care about these projects, and felt an urge to do see if there was a way I could contribute. There was really just one thing I wanted to add—a puzzle piece to allow an Avenue viaduct to cross over an RHW-4 (the only RHW network back then). At that point, the only real tutorial out there on transit modding was @redlotus Interchange Tutorial, which was a pretty intense read. After a couple months of staring at hexadecimal in the Reader, and learning what RULs and exemplars were, and some help from a couple of NAMites who re-emerged from the woodwork ( @Swamper77 was especially helpful), I finally figured out how to get a puzzle piece in-game. Of course, by that time, I started having all these other ideas, and kept learning more about transit modding to better facilitate them. Eventually, that led to my being added to a newly-reconstituted NAM Team in February 2007. I was never sent an invite PM or anything—I just suddenly had access to a new private thread, and discovered inside that I had indeed been invited onto the team. It was a very pleasant surprise, to say the least! You grew the quality of add-ons in the NAM through your continued development of the RHW, what has been the most challenging aspect of that project as it grew over the years? It's certainly been a challenging project over the years, but that's really what's kept me coming back to it. As far as what's been most challenging, I'd say dealing with all the crosslinking between all the various RHW networks, and between RHW networks and other NAMcomponents. There's 33 RHW networks at present. That presents an enormous number of options compared to the base game, but enormous complications as well—especially when you try to add 20 networks at once (as we did in NAM 31—it would have been 26 if we hadn't shelved three levels of RHW-12S and 10C). What the general user may not know about how we “add” networks (really, we've just adeptly tricked the game into transforming behavior and appearance of existing networks, as we can't add true new ones), there's no high-level programming language or scripting involved. Most of it is if/then statements with hexadecimal pointers that operate two tiles at a time, like this: 0x57030000,1,0,0x57000000,1,0=0x57030000,1,0,0x57030000,1,0 The RHW, as a whole, presently consists of over one million lines of that. We actually had to change how we save the file back around NAM30, as Maxis did some strange things with compression that had capped the size at around 200,000 lines. One of the other big challenges has been sneaking in time for my other transit modding projects. I have plenty of stories about the myriad delays on the Network Widening Mod (NWM), which, in terms of development time, is only about a year younger than the RHW (2006 vs. 2005), but didn't see its first release until 2010. The FLEX Turn Lanes (FTL) project, which is my main area of focus for the NAM 36 cycle, has actually been in development since January 2014, just after NAM 32 was released. When you took over development of the RHW, did you ever see it being as big as it is now? What feature would you have never thought possible when you first started but that we now take for granted? I had a flood of ideas come to me for where the project could go once I really started figuring out transit network modding. The 8-lane RHWprototype that project founder @qurlix showed off right around the time I joined the community was a huge inspiration, and I knew from that and the various conversations I had with the RHW thread regulars back then that this was a project that could go on for a very long time. That said, I never expected it to still be going over a decade later. My big proclamation back when I first started formulating the Modular Interchange System (MIS) was that I wanted to have a system that could replicate all the designs in the Kurumi Field Guide to Interchanges. It took 10 years (the stack was the killer—NAM 35 finally stabilized it, though we can still improve it further), but we've basically gotten there, in addition to covering types that weren't even out there when we started, like the Diverging Diamond. As far as things I never would have thought possible, I still remember my shock at seeing the first FLEXFly that @Wahrheit (then Blue Lightning) developed. That development really changed the face of the game, and laid the ground work for many of the FLEX items that have shaped development in the past several releases. Amazingly enough, the FLEX functionality is going to allow us to break the longtime prohibition on fully-assembled plop interchanges, which will make the RHW far more accessible than it ever has been in the near future. The NAM had another big release in 2016, what's the development mentality like behind the scenes now? Right now, the team is probably the smallest it's ever been, outside of that brief “dark age” of 2006. We're down to just three fully-active developers right now, plus a small number of semi-active ones who contribute when time permits, and a handful of testing/power user types. There are some advantages to our smaller, leaner size in terms of coordinating different projects, particularly as our small group is intensely dedicated to keeping this project going. We don't see an end in sight. The big downside is that those of us left have occasional spurts of pretty heavy RL. Given that we're also still working through some of the ongoing large-scale efforts that were started several years ago, when our development team was much larger, it's really felt when one of us has to dial back for a bit. Through NAM v32's development, was there someone's work which you found outstanding when you first saw it? @Droric joined the team during NAM 32 development, and was around through part of NAM 33's marathon cycle. He joined in 2013 and picked up transit modding almost instantly. Even more impressive was the fact that he wasn't afraid to pick up big projects, starting off by getting the NAM to play nice with @Daeley's Advanced Menu Navigator (DAMN), and then being a major contributor to the major Elevated Rail Dual-Networking expansion in that release, working with veteran NAMites @memo, @z1, and @jdenm8. NAM 32 was also the marked the initial edition of RealRailway (RRW) system, an effort started by another relatively new member of the team, @Swordmaster, intended revamp the standards of the default Rail network to improve realism. While he was whisked away by RL shortly before NAM 32's release, and has only been intermittently active since, he laid the initial tracks for what has become a very substantial new area of content development for us. Is there anyone who might not have got the praise they deserve for their role in the development of the last update? Both @Eggman121 and @rsc204 have been an indispensable part of the NAM Team for the last three releases—NAM 33, 34, and 35. I really can't thank them enough for their efforts in keeping this project going, some 13 years after its first release. eggman121 is almost single-handedly responsible for taking Swordmaster's RealRailway idea and fleshing it out into one of our largest projects in scale, adding the FlexTrack system and Draggable Fractional Angle Rails in the past two releases. For NAM 36, he's working on the long-awaited arrival of Draggable Rail Viaducts. He's also been instrumental in getting the Multi-Radius Curve standard implemented, which has added a lot of new flexibility into the NAM's grid-breaking repertoire. rsc204 has been a veritable “Swiss Army knife” for both the NAM Team and the RTMT Team. He has a unique and diverse skill set, and an amazing attention to detail. We finally managed to get a NAM release out on Christmas Day with NAM 34—the first time we've successfully been able to pull that off—and I really don't think we could have done that without his efforts. He's been phenomenal to work with on the team, and in the community at large. You help run the biggest custom creation team for SC4, what team outside of the NAM do you admire, and why? I've always been a big fan of the BSC. I have been particularly impressed by the way in which both teams were able to streamline the custom content process, which resulted in an amazingly prolific output of really top-notch stuff. As someone who does care quite a bit about functionality, I especially appreciate how they undertook careful research on gameplay mechanics and balance, and used that knowledge as part of their creation process. I'd mention the SFBT in the same breath as well. Do you still get time to just play the game? Or has creating mods become the game? Right now, with RL being as busy as it is, and my desire to rebuild my plugin setup a bit more, my SC4 time has largely been limited to NAMwork. It's been that way for at least a couple years now, though I do occasionally get a little carried away with my test cities and actually flesh them out a bit. I definitely do want to get back to actually building cities and bring Tarkusian Cities back at some point (likely with a new region), though finding the time is the caveat. Was there anyone's creations from the last two years which you've admired? I'd say the most amazing thing to come out in the past two years was the DLL work that @simmaster07 did, particularly with SC4Fix. Piecing together an incomplete Software Development Kit (SDK) and then using it to solve the long-thought-unsolvable TE Lot/Puzzle Piece crashes after all these years is too amazing to put into words. Beyond that, I'm impressed with @Reddonquixote's work, @Bipin's bold ideas, and the re-lot work that @nos.17 has been doing on @Bobbo662's old files. You active on the forums with NAM development and answering questions, in the past two years has there been anyone you've noticed who has been answering questions before you get to them, or giving you continual feedback in development threads? I'd put @APSMS near the top of that list—that trait is one of the main reasons we brought him on as a NAM Associate awhile back. He's knowledgeable, thoughtful, and makes great points, and has really helped us out with support. Among the development team, @rsc204 has been very helpful in terms of keeping an eye on our support threads and springs into action with useful detailed responses. Before his unfortunate passing, @A Nonny Moose always had something interesting and encouraging to say and was a big supporter of our efforts. It still feels a bit empty not seeing him around Modding-Transit Networks. I've also been quite impressed with @matias93 recently on these fronts, too. You had a very successful MD/CJ, do you still keep up with the CJ scene? Are there any which you just can't stop reading? Unfortunately, I'm not nearly as up on the CJ scene as I used to be. I'd say it's largely a product of more limited SC4 hours. I will occasionally check some out periodically—I've been impressed with @Ln X's work, and I check in on @bakercity's Region of Salem from time to time. I do watch some of the “Show Us . . .” threads fairly regularly, however—as you can probably guess, the interchange one is probably my most frequently visited there, in part because tech support issues sometimes get reported there, and it occasionally gives me some ideas of where to go with development. While the NAM has pushed the limits of what is possible over the years, there must be something which you know is impossible but would love to add to the game? Surprisingly, I am fairly content with what we have and are able to do with the game. It would be nice to have a little bit more control over certain network properties—namely, killing RHW auto-connect and wrangling some of the more annoying aspects of the One-Way Road network's tidal flow system. Lastly, how often do you still read RHW as Rural Highway? For the life of me I still can't bring myself to read it as Real Highway, no matter how hard I try! Believe it or not, back in the day—and much to my chagrin—I used to routinely encounter folks who would inexplicably say something to the effect of “this looks great, but I'm not going to use it simply because it says 'rural' in the project name.” I don't think anyone involved with the project ever liked the old name— @qurlix himself didn't care for it—and there used to be multi-page arguments in the development threads about changing it. Personally, I cringe heavily whenever I see “Rural Highway” used nowadays, so “RealHighway” was very, very easy for me to adopt when we finally changed it in late 2009. Thanks for your time, enjoy the trixies! You're welcome--and thanks to the ST staff for reviving this great community event!
  19. I'm sure Trixie would want to honour him in some way. That llama was always very fond of him.
  20. Either nominate the team, or nominate a member and write in the description that it's for the entire team. We'll work with teams to make sure an awards resulting from nominations go to all members.
  21. This should be all sorted out and it is now ready for everyone to start submitting nominations Was just finalising that as the post was going live, they will close April 3rd. Should give everyone plenty of time
  22. As part of the upcoming Trixie Season, the Staff team have been interviewing various prominent members of the community and asking them about their favourite STEX files and City Journals over the past two years, inspiration and creative workflow, along with life outside of Simtropolis. So without further adieu, please welcome our next guest @simmaster07, which many of you will seen around the forums, or you may have downloaded one of his many mods. An Interview with Simmaster07 Hi Simmaster07, how are you? Fairly busy but otherwise pretty well, thanks for asking! What is your earliest memory of the SimCity? Oh jeez, I was tiny back then, maybe six years old. I think I was walking through Target or some sort of department store and I was bored, so I dragged my dad to the video games section while my mom did some shopping. For some reason SimCity 3000 was the game that caught my attention, and I guess my parents had no issue with it since it was pretty innocuous. Of course as soon as I found the disaster menu I spent a good amount of time spawning locusts and toxic clouds. So much for learning about city planning — though I did manage to get SimCity 4 not long afterward, and that was a pretty good long-term investment. Has this game helped inspire you at all in real life endeavours? Not directly, but I did learn a lot from Simtropolis after finding it through the SimCity BBS. A lot of aspects of modding tied into my interest in programming in some way, and some of my early content was making tools for things like creating NAM packages for Mac installations or automating city backups. In retrospect a lot of the code was absolutely awful, and that content is deleted now since I didn't feel confident that it would function properly now. Still, that was a big part of the process in allowing me to learn more about programming and create the more advanced mods I've made recently. Recently you've been pushing the boundaries of what mods can bring to the game, specifically around features which were left out of the game. What inspires you to create these mods? How much time and effort goes into researching and developing these files? The effort to get DLLs capable of modding the game to work has been an effort that dates back to over six years ago. I was in way over my head but heard that Paul Pedriana was the one of the development leads for SimCity and figured I'd email him about how to implement DLLs like the extra cheats mod. To my complete and utter surprise, after a bit of back and forth, he did respond with some source code. It was incomplete, but Paul said that it should've been enough to pull it off. My main motivation, up until I got something working, was trying to decipher how to take this code and and get a working program. It took years upon years of accumulating knowledge about programming and debugging to figure it out, and it definitely seems to have been worth it. Perhaps most helpful was the community's prior efforts to learn about the game's internals, and I stumbled upon a post from GoaSkinmentioning how the PowerPC Mac port of the game had a lot of debugging information left in the final version. Because of how the game's architecture was modeled, this was actually incredibly helpful in learning about the Windows version and the generic APIs, so I'm extremely grateful that the community documented their findings as well. You also created a patch for SimCity, a game more than ten years old, which fixes a substantial issue that was only found after significant modding. What amount of work goes into finding a fix for such a frustrating crash which so many of us experience? Again, it takes a lot of cumulative knowledge from both personal experience and the community. SC4Fix requires some understanding of how assembly language works and how to debug a program without any reference code before you can start to build it. Once you have that, it's not a terrible amount of work to build that patch — especially since the TE lot crash is pretty isolated from the rest of the program — but it's still a good amount of work to get to that point. How rewarding is it when you have this idea and toil away until you eventually get the patch working? The very first thing I did when I got SC4Fix working, even in a primitive and virtually unreleasable form, was post on the forum, because I was incredibly excited about the prospect of fixing one of the biggest remaining issues with the game and sharing that with as many people as I could, so it was very rewarding to say the least. Even now, over a year after having released it, it still comes up in other threads with people hailing it as a must-have mod now, which is pretty heartwarming. Your work is a source of inspiration for many. Who's work inspires you? Insofar as SC4 modding goes, I've always been inspired by the work of some of my friends and fellow modders here — @Wahrheit, @meister1235, @z1 are a few that come to mind, as well as and especially the NAM Team, which has been here iterating on their work for as long as I've been here, if not longer. They and many other people here piqued my interest in modding the game, and even though I haven't been able to get into BATing or network modding I am glad I've been able to carve out my own niche and contribute that way. More broadly, I've been inspired by entrepreneurs like Bill Gates who managed to lead revolutions in how we live and have given back to the global community after achieving that kind of success, as well as programmers like Dennis Ritchie and Linus Torvalds who haven't made billions of dollars but have still contributed with their code and their openness to and advocacy for sharing information. (I couldn’t find a way to @ mention bill gates ) A lot of the work on mods happens behind the scenes, who has been someone that's helped you the most during development in the past two years? I only know of one other person who's tried to pull off DLL modding, and they acted independently for the most part, so I can't say there's anyone or anything in the past two years specifically that has helped me. Unfortunately most resources I used go even further back, especially the forum threads that I used for reference. Do you get to sit down and actually play the game very much anymore? Sometimes on really long plane rides, but I find myself more fascinated by the game's internals than by the game itself now and so I don't ever really play the game so much as I have it running in the background while I use a debugger and a code editor to dig deeper. I used to have a huge Plugins folder with over ten gigabytes of content, but looking at it now it seems I just have the NAM, a few lots, and the extra cheats DLL, which is probably a good analogy for how much I play the game properly now. What's a quality piece of work from the last two years which you think has been overlooked? I wish I could answer this but I haven't been watching the forums or the STEX closely at all. Generally speaking I notice @CorinaMarie and @rsc204 contributing regularly and probably deserve some recognition, but I might also be just a tad biased since they've tagged me at least a couple of times and their posts usually give me an excuse to investigate some part of the game internals I hadn't considered looking at before. Has here been a STEX file review/comment from the past two years which you absolutely love, or find incredibly funny? Not particularly, but it is also generally nice to see people like @T Wrecks consistently offering positive and constructive comments. Lastly, what would be your perfect Sunday? A good Sunday would probably just be doing something new with my friends. Thank you for joining us! We can’t wait for the opening of the nominations which is now just a couple of days away
  23. 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 @Prophet42, a long time Simtropolis member and moderator. You may have seen him around the forums at some point over his 13 years here with us. An Interview with Prophet42 Hi Prophet42, how are you today? I'm doing great. Justing relaxing by the fire. What do the trixies mean to you? The trixies are a chance to showcase the great talent we have in the community. For me, it is a great chance see content from members that I may have missed and also inspire me to build better cities. What's the best part of celebrating others achievements over the past year? The best part is that it gives well deserved recognition to members for their contribution and hopefully inspires them to continue creating great content. How did you first discover SimCity? Back in the mid 90's, a friend of mine recommended SC2000. So I went out a bought a copy. I have been addicted ever since. By far, SC4 is my favorite city simulator, and probably my favorite game of all time. What would be the most substantial project that has left a meaningful impression on you from the past two years? Why is that? @Ln X city journal My SC4 CJ Scrapbook has really made an impression on me. His attention to detail, and realism has made me strive to be more creative when building my own cities. What's a quality piece of work from the last two years which you think has been overlooked? I think Modern Row Home #4 from @gutterclub has been overlooked. It is a nice detailed residential piece that doesn't seem to have been downloaded all that much. Has anyone's content surprised you from the last two years? In what way was this a surprise? @Diego Del Llano has uploaded some great content in the last two years. What kind of suprised me is that the quality and variety of the BATs has been good from the beginning. 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? For CJers, I enjoy @Ln X's SC4 scrapbook journal and @korver's True Earth journal. As far as content, I would highly recommend @madhatter106 Middies Office Pack 7. It fits seamlessly in with the rest of SC4 buildings and provides essential C$$ buildings. Who is an up-and-coming member that we should look out for next year? I think the recent work of @Aarsgevogelte is exceptional. I would look for continued great work from him in the following year. You spend a lot of time commenting on forums, specifically forum games. Who is someone which always has a funny or witty remark? @Toothless Stitch always seems to be able to provide humor and wit to the games. What forums games these past two years have been exceptionally fun? And are there any that you'd recommend people new to the forum games section get involved in to introduce themselves to the concept? I especially like "Why should the person above you be banned?" and "How is the person above you going to die?" A good game to get started with would be "Guess who’s Next" Lastly, if there was anyplace you'd want to go, where would you go and why? Australia. I am fascinated with the culture, geography, and unique life forms. Thanks for your time, here's to a great trixies season!
  24. 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
  25. Nominations Open March 13th - The Trixies are here, the Llamas are here, and this time we're heading back in time! It seems like an eternity since the Trixies were last held, and we can't wait to go all the way back to the start of 2015! The Trixies are a celebration of all types of community contributions, ranging from STEX uploads to CJs, all the way to forum posts. It's the perfect opportunity to celebrate all the amazing content shared over the past two years, and give a special 'thanks' to your fellow members. We last held the Trixies for the year 2014, so understandably, we have a lot to catch up on. So this year, things will be a little different. We won't be holding just one ceremony, but two at the same time: One each for 2015 and 2016. Since the previous awards were such a long time ago, there will be a prelude in the run-up to the start of nominations. Here we invite everyone to discuss content shared during 2015-2016. What were your favourites? Alongside this, we will also be posting special features, including retrospective lists of uploaded content, and interviews by some members, highlighting their experience over the last two years. The purpose of this build-up intends to help everyone make informed decisions, with a broader perspective. Not be told who to nominate, but just reminded of who could be potential nomination candidates. The Prologue Over the next 3 weeks we will be holding a series of events to celebrate the content uploaded over the past two years. This will start here in the Trixies Forum with a community discussion of memorable content which you can recall, or may otherwise be overlooked. The discussion will be complemented by retrospectives on uploaded content, where we post summaries of 2015-2016 content. There will also be interviews with members, giving their thoughts of notable contributions over the period. Community Discussion I can hardly remember what was for breakfast, let alone the memorable items some 700 days ago! So when trying to remember what happened in 2015 my mind goes blank. That's why we are hosting a way which everyone can discuss uploads, CJs, forum posts or just members in general who have shared amazing creations from the past two years. The principle behind this not to form a consensus on who or what is deserving of a Trixie. But instead, a place to discuss content we have admired over this time frame, or items which we think might be overlooked when thinking back on all the amazing creations from the past two years. Use the link below to discuss content from the past two years. Retrospective Lists We want to make sure that there is a place which you can go to find everything that has been uploaded from the past two years, specifically in 2015 which is a long way to look back through in the STEX. In the coming days we will feature a series of lists which highlight content uploaded to the STEX from each year. CJs were harder to list, so we ask that for CJ retrospectives the Community Discussion topic is the best place to remember your favourite CJ. These lists should help you find STEX uploads, and remember items which you may have forgotten about. Member Interviews There will also be a series of interviews with different members on their experience with content from the past two years as well as their involvement with Simtropolis. We've tried to interview members which we haven't interviewed before, and these range from people you will have heard of and talked to before, to some members you might have only seen in passing. These interviews will try to highlight content which they have valued from the last two years, usually focusing on areas of the site which they are involved in. These are, at times, subjective, so we ask that you don't take their opinions as definitive fact, but rather as another view on what has been uploaded in the past two years. You'll find these uploaded in this forum, where you can comment on their interviews and they may respond to comments and questions that you have. These are just opinions, and your final nominations can be of whom ever, and what ever, you feel deserving of the award. Award Category Ideas As part of the build-up, a suggestions topic will be opened for the award categories. Here we invite you all to share ideas for the various awards you'd like to see make up the default set. Last time the list was greatly simplified, and looking back, this may have actually made the process more restrictive. So now, let your imagination run wild! There are BATs, but what about styles? There are CJs, but what about variations? We can't promise all ideas will be selected, but whatever they are, we'd love to hear them. Changes to Nominations For these Trixies we are changing how to nominate members, and how many times a member can be nominated. Since the site upgrade of 2015, the old nominations system was made incompatible. So this year, things are going to be slightly different. We will expand on these changes closer to the nominations opening, but a summary of the major changes are listed below: Forum Nominations Previously nominations would be submitted via a dedicated page with a category selector and a plain text description box. But this time, nominations will be submitted in a special forum which will open at the start of the nominations. This forum behaves differently than others, in that no one else except the Admins are able to view your submissions! So post without hesitation in that forum knowing that your nominations will remain incognito. A major benefit of this method is that you are able to edit any of your posts throughout the submissions period. So as you keep remembering people to nominate, you can continue editing or adding new nominations until the closure date. While in previous Trixies you could continue submitting new nominations, this method means you see all of the nominations you have made, so it's easy to remember what/who you have or haven't nominated yet. An simple and straightforward way to stay on top of everything. So say goodbye to spreadsheets! Once the categories are finalised, we'll provide a full list so that you don't miss any awards to choose from. Of course, you may also create custom awards which aren't included in the default set. It may seem weird at first, but everything will stay private, we promise. Rule Changes This year we are making a slight change to how many times you can nominate a member. Traditionally you could only nominate any given member for one award. But this time, this rule is being expanded. It used to be that someone would only create amazing buildings, or only write beautiful CJs. However, now we have members who cover lots of different parts of the site, for the previous Trixies it was increasingly difficult to nominate them for just one award. This year we are making the change to allow you to nominate a member for up to 3 different awards. We hope that you submit multiple nominations for a single member to awards in different sections of the Trixies, but we aren't making that a specific rule as there are awards in sections which relate to very different skill sets. Use this new ability wisely… Cities: Skylines It's time to welcome the latest city-builder to our great Trixie Awards! This will be the first year C:S participates in our great ceremony. Just remember, the Trixies are a celebration of Simtropolis contributions, so only items here on the site are eligible to be nominated for an award. Understandably, there are thousands of Workshop items, so C:S content on the STEX is only a fraction of the overall selection. Considering this, Workshop items can be nominated, as long as they're created by an author who is a member here at Simtropolis. We can't wait to start sharing the love and celebrating what our community has to offer! Here's to another memorable Trixies, let the party begin!