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mattb325 last won the day on
July 9

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    Great use of existing prop-packs. Thanks for sharing!
  1. Version 1.0.0


    Perth Council Building, by Mattb325. --------------------------------------- Inspired by the Council Building in Perth's Stirling Gardens, here is another iconic early 1960's building. This is an example of the modernist style with Bauhaus leanings, and has distinctive external 'T' shaped sun-shades in alternating patterns over the curtain glass wall to block out the hot Western Australian sun. Conversely, the roof area has a perspex covered walkway which I imagine would be about as comfortable as an ant under a magnifying glass in the broiling summer heat! It is with the 'T' shaped awnings that I taken most of the liberties with this building; reducing the width of the top part of the 'T' to ensure that each sun-shade is clearly visible in game rather than blurring into one. The real-life building was actually slated for demolition in the 1990's, but was saved and renovated as well as adding one extra floor at the top of the building. Recently, the building was also fitted thousands of coloured leds: hence, the unusual, and prettily-coloured night-lights. This BAT functions as a government building and town hall in game. In addition to providing your sims with 185 highly desirable civic jobs, it will help alleviate the commercial demand caps that can hinder city development. Given the way that the game is designed, in addition to providing health, education, safety, etc, using rewards is an absolutely necessary part of being able to develop large cities and regions. It sits on a 5x3 lot and will easily blend in with other park lots (such as the SFBT mid-wealth set) that use the Maxis R$$ plain grass. Similarly, given the fact that the building is 13 floors high, it will also work well in a dense city environment. * It is offered as a reward without needing to meet pre-existing conditions. * It is located in the REWARD Menu * It can be placed more than once in a city. * It DOES NOT over-write the ingame town hall (or any re-lotted versions there-of), so can be used in conjunction with the standard Maxis town hall reward. * It DOES NOT over-write any of my other town hall lots (so can be used in conjunction with these as well). --------------------------------------- STATS: Lot size : 5 x 3 Plop Cost: §47,000 Monthly Cost: §1,170 Budget Item: Government Buildings Occupant Groups: Reward, Courthouse Demand Created: Jobs§: 23, Jobs§§: 151, Jobs§§§: 11. Landmark Effect: +105 over 33 tiles Pollution: Air 3 over 2 tiles, Water 2 over 3 tiles, Garbage 31 over 0 tiles Power consumed: 55 MwH Water consumed: 111 Gallons/Month Bulldoze Cost: §11,720 --------------------------------------- NOTE ABOUT DARK NITE vs MAXIS NITE: This download contains TWO file types in two seperate folders; one for dark nite users (and other night-time darkening mods, such as Gizmos or Mashty's night-mods) and one for the standard Maxis nite. You must choose only one file - depending on which version you use. If you are unsure whether you have a night-darkening mod installed, then choose the Maxis night version. If you use the dark nite version, you will need a dark nite mod. (http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/23089-simfox-day-and-nite-modd/) --------------------------------------- DEPENDENCIES: To ensure proper functionality, make sure the following files are in your plugins: *BSC Mega Props - CP Vol02.dat (http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=2790) *BSC MEGA Props - SG Vol01.dat (http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=746) --------------------------------------- NOTE ABOUT PARKING TEXTURES: Sadly, negative comments/reviews from a few members of the community continue to force me to add this utterly ridiculous disclaimer...this building has underground parking, and I have not used parking textures. If you wish to add parking textures, please do so using the lot editor and keep your negativity to yourself. --------------------------------------- To install, simply unzip the contents of this file into your plugins folder. Thanks.
    Excellent! I really like the brick detailing on the lower floors
    Brilliant recreation, thankyou for sharing!
  2. For simply-shaped bats, it honestly isn't necessary...only once the building starts to have multiple ends and projections (such as L shaped buildings) and verandas does it pay to do this. But as a general rule, you import the main building model as a single group, make a box in the shape of it, delete the main building model (this is to save on render time) and then fit the Lods around your foundation only. That way the above ground bounding box isn't 'seen' during the render.
  3. When I do multiple colour variations of the same bat, in addition to opening the bat afresh each time, I would File -> Merge the last bat (minus the LODS, TB2 Camera Handle and Thumbnail Camera) into the fresh scene and then save as.
  4. I admit the scripted ways look very neat and very user friendly as well as automated. From an end user point of view, no doubts at all there... But I do have some niggling questions: in light of the fact that everything is becoming more expensive to run...here I see more and more donation messages for instance, it's a fact that the webmasters - on whom we all rely - are feeling the pinch. Also, unless the solution is quite a graphical gui, it would seem to heighten @Fantozzi's concerns about anonymity and loss of getting to know the author. So the questions are: 1) How does this automated script to install a plugins suite add real, monetary value to the websites to ensure that the websites remain an ongoing concern? It's great for the end user, but I don't see value for the webmaster (and I might be missing something). 2) These files will increase the download volumes, bandwidth and hence cost - I don't see how a user could be charged to use the solution, or how you could make a 'starter pack' plugins from this unless the gui is very limited from the get-go 3) I assume one would need to be logged in to access the modpak feature; that removes some of the existing revenue stream - a large number of users just download without being logged in and have to sit through an advert to do so. 4) Who is going to reclassify all of the STEX files to make the searches that build the plugin packs meaningful? The files date back to last century and it has always been an open exchange, so varied stuff and indeed varied results. Also the script at the top of the page would rely on a plugins folder not being datpacked (or any other end-user created dats) 5) Going back to an earlier example, where a pack contains work from a number of authors, what is to stop an inactive user logging in once more, seeing that their work is now part of a pack which is being pinged by automated scripts and saying 'heck no! I didn't sign up for this' and locking, deleting, or replacing their files with a text pad...while I believe the delete option isn't available in our current site, updating files to a simple text-pad has been done before - and en masse. 6) How does it fix the older, non-functioning files; to give an example - let's say the community wanted a dutch-themed pack.......There are several makers of dutch bats and lots who come to mind - one was a prolific batter (he has 5 pages of stuff) whose buildings are among the most exquisite bats ever, ever made, but only about 30% of them actually work in game. The rest are all bugged and either don't show up or CTD. If you want to use his work, you have to mod it yourself. On an automated model, you would be installing bugged files into a plugins pack. How does this add value to a user and how could you charge a nominal amount for it? It certainly appears that while scripts are incredibly easy for the end user, it looks like a lot of work getting all the files aligned to a script and then somehow being able to put the brakes on bandwidth as well as somehow engineering it as a 'value' proposition, like the CD is now (i.e give $, get gift). Perhaps, @catty-cb, @cycleboom or @tarkus might be better placed to answer some of these questions from a webmaster pov. Edit: The last thing any solution should do is have the unintended consequences of cannibalizing Dirk's existing revenue stream (that is the sale of CDs and the ad revenue from anonymous downloads) - any solution must complement these - because it will drive up costs associated with hosting the site and bulk downloads.
  5. I do agree with @Fantozzi's sentiments, that's why I think a paid, compiled starter pack could work: How it might look - after the essential bug-fixes, let's say the community decides the first packs might be growable low density/low wealth starter pack of various houses/commercials/industrials. The community decides that the following authors are contenders: eg: Madhatter, Simgoober, JMeyers, JBSimio, Spa, etc, etc, who have all made content in this space that is generally bug-free and works as intended. Only one author is active, so unless Madhatter expressly said that we couldn't use his stuff, the starter pack would .dat pack a selection (not all) of those files in that category from the authors - one .dat per author so that it is clear whose files belong to who - and the readme would list the author and a link to their work. In the description of each STEX file that was included in the .dat, a small moderator comment could be added that stated "This file has been added to starter pack #X" so that people wouldn't end up with duplicates. No dependencies would be included in the .dat, just a link on where to get them. That takes care of the bug-free files. Now the trickier part - for the sake of the argument, let's say years ago I also made a whole lot of low-wealth commercials that didn't work, they grew on blank lots, brown boxes, crashed the game, used obscure dependencies from defunct korean fan-sites, etc, but the community really liked the way they were batted, and/or they are amongst the only custom content in a certain category. In that case, you would take the bat and get a competent lot-maker to re-mod and re-lot it to be included in a .dat (assuming that you enlist a competent lot maker who could be bothered to re-do other people's stuff) and then on the original file, a moderator leaves a note "This file has been modified/corrected and added to starter pack #X". This would take care of older content that just doesn't function correctly. Despite altering the .desc and .lot file of the creators work (which Maxis has the copyright of anyway), I can't see that this would pose a problem. Apart from the April 1 Nuclear Starbucks series, no creator wants their files to deliberately not work, it is just that a lot of the older creators simply didn't have access to all the tools and knowledge that has been built up today. I believe that this would make a small fee worthwhile for a starter pack - and ensures the ongoing viability of the website - and gives life to some otherwise dusty work. The starter packs shouldn't be all-inclusive in each category; it should just whet the appetite of the player to take a step into custom content and give the site a few $ in return.
  6. I really like @TMTS' idea of bundling the starter packs for sale for a nominal amount. This is something both sites could potentially be on board with in addition to the CD/donation. Obviously for the starter packs you could split them into multiple categories of content that is either tried and tested to work as described by the original author, or work that has been re-engineered to work correctly. Of course the first pack is the bug-fixes (as already mentioned) and then you expand from there: eg low density res/com/ind etc, etc. In respect to the copyright laws (ugggh ) the one thing that keeps on being overlooked is that the copyright (and let's be clear that this is only where financials and/or reputation that can have a deleterious financial impact upon the author) is limited by the First Sale Doctrine: i.e. to use the book example again, once a book has been sold at the book-shop (ie the first sale), the copyright holder hasn't any say what happens to that copy after that in respect of redistribution. If you've purchased the book, you can throw it away, lend it to a friend, burn it or sell at a garage sale, 2nd hand book store etc. You can't, however photocopy it and sell the photocopy. Nor of course could you alter the ending in your photocopied version. Now how that applies to SC4 content (and really it doesn't) is that once I, as a creator, have uploaded the files, I have no control over them. And that is in addition to all of my rights having been eviscerated by various EULAs and real copyrights (as opposed to community values) along the way. If a community member takes a file of mine and alters the lot or the stats of the lot and uploads it elsewhere, then there is no recourse: it is freeware and it is entirely legal and permissible - I don't own the SC4.lot, even though I decorated & modded it. That said, it is slightly different if someone takes the BAT file I made, extracts the individual .FSH files, paints it all bright pink and re-inserts them and then re-uploads it; that is an authorship infringement, but we aren't talking about that. Which is why I think rather than trying to automate scripts to populate starter packs (and then try and deal with technical limitations of either the scripts, the software, the sites, the various OS or the users) we should simply package up a lot of these starter packs with content that the community believes is balanced and represents something that new players would want to have. Of course the items would still be available to download freely, but any file that has been included in one of these starter packs could be tagged with a clause that states that it was included in starter pack No X, and was either modified to fix buggy stats or unmodified. This way, the work involved by the community at least returns a few bucks to the coffers of the website - which after all - is as important as custom content in keeping our community alive.
  7. There is....you open up a thread in the lot makers forum: http://community.simtropolis.com/forums/forum/29-lot-editor-and-plug-in-manager/ and other lotters will be only too happy to assist you in getting your lot ready for upload. As @T_wrecks said on one of your uploads (but I think the message was lost), start your lots with an empty plug-ins folder. Absolutely nothing but the lot you want to create and the game itself. Use Maxis props and base textures first, then, bring in documented (which means you keeping the documentation, not us) dependencies one at a time and build your lot that way. There is a dependency list here: http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?page=4 - a bit out of date (it's from 2007), but it will surely get you started. There's also one here: https://city-builders.info/catalog A couple of years ago, J_mouse went to a huge amount of trouble to take thousands and thousands of pictures of the props inside the most popular prop packs: these also have the links to the prop packs for you to copy when uploading. They are here: http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=13364.0 and this would be invaluable to help you discern which packs to use on your lots. But first I would start by reading this: http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=276.msg8219#msg8219 You've been offered a lot of help so far by a lot of members (I think @Tyberius06 deserves an award for tracking down that huge list for you!); if you are finding the learning curve too steep, then I suggest slowing down on the releases until you get to grips with the notion of creating custom content for the purpose of sharing with others, as there is a huge difference in lot making for yourself vs uploading to a community site such as this.
  8. Version 1.0.0


    Alighieri Apartments, by Mattb325. --------------------------------------- Alighieri apartments is a fictional creation in the modern international style. These apartments are 14 floors high and designed to fit into tight inner-city 2x2 blocks. It will work as a stand-alone apartment building as well as in a wall to wall environment. It also provides a little bit of much needed competition to the HKABT/Bixel apartments which have few competitors in the 2x2 space. Like many inner-city apartment buildings, the ground floor is devoted to retail space. The tower area has four apartments per floor, each apartment has a corner balcony; the street-facing apartments are larger (3 bedrooms) and have floor-to-ceiling glass in the lounge area. The rear apartments are 2 bedrooms each. There is no penthouse suite, instead residents enjoy a roof-top communal pool. Basement parking rounds out inner-city convenience. This is a growable R§§ apartment on a 2x2 lot on all tilesets. --------------------------------------- STATS R§§: Lot size : 2x2 Growth Stage: 7 (Medium & High Density Zoning) Bulldoze Cost: § 807 Capacity Satisfied: R§ 1,106, R§§ 612 Pollution: 5 (Air)/ 2 (Water)/ 4 (Garbage ) Pollution Radius: 5/6/0 Power Consumed: 9 Mwh Water Consumed: 24 Gal/Month Building Style: Houston/Euro/New York/Chicago Occupant Group: Medium Wealth Residential Building --------------------------------------- NOTE ABOUT DARK NITE vs MAXIS NITE: This download contains TWO model files; one for dark nite users (and other night-time darkening mods, such as Gizmos night-mod) and one for the standard Maxis nite. You must keep only one file - depending on which version you use. If you are unsure whether you have a night-darkening mod installed, then choose the Maxis night version. Regardless of which file you choose to keep, make sure you DO NOT delete the Lot File! If you use the dark nite version, you will need a dark nite mod. (http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/23089-simfox-day-and-nite-modd/) --------------------------------------- DEPENDENCIES: This file requires no external dependencies. --------------------------------------- NOTE ABOUT PARKING TEXTURES: Sadly, due to the complaints from a few members of the community, I continue to have to make the parking texture 'disclaimer' on all of my releases. This building is designed for inner-city areas. With the exception of the US mid-west where there has been massive, continued economic downturn and a flight to suburbia, no inner city area in the world has acres of parking: land is simply too expensive. This building has underground parking for residents only and visitors are expected to arrive by either public transport or park their car on the street; therefore no parking textures are included in the lot. If, in the ingame screen shots, there appears to be a parking texture used, it is purely coincidental and merely belongs to an adjacent lot that is not part of this download. If you want acres of parking or desire a different parking lot texture, then use the lot editor to make that change. --------------------------------------- To install, simply unzip the contents of this file into your plugins folder. Thanks.
  9. Absolutely stunning! The ganges scene is so lively!
  10. Looking good! I'm very surprised that you need to make custom lods for the foundations...and given that it places some lag on the simulator (as it is making a 3D object rather than a simple 2d image) I would caution against it for low-stage growables which will repeat often. Of course for water, special bats etc, knowing how to make custom lods is a good skill. To illustrate what I mean, for James park house ( It had quite complex foundations, front and back. Here are the gmax shots: The first shows the foundation: the beige box represents a bounding box of the model so that shadows are cast correctly: The second shows the actual LODs: you can see there's nothing tricky, just a purple box The Foundation model is exported as a Foundation in the parameters roll-out: Then, using the old-school Maxis PIM I simply make it a foundation (you can see the parameters set here in the PIM-X plus the effect that the bounding box gives for shadows on a complex foundation shape...it isn't needed for simple shapes unless you really want to) As you can see, I was able to place props within the LODs with zero issue. It's also worked when I have used the foundations as a prop exemplar (which looks like what you are doing by trying to fit more than one per lot). Hope that helps
  11. Are you on an older version of windows? I have read somewhere that windows sometimes does not read contents of folders with long names. It's a long shot (no pun intended), but maybe try changing the folder name to something short?
  12. @Guerro1996 - all the files needed are contained in the download (except BSC BAT Props Mattb325 Vol03 (http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=2768), but that only gives the trees on the lot). Have you kept only one of the two model files included?