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INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION MOD - WALL-TO-WALL INDUSTRY

Base Pack - Lots based on Maxis buildings & IRM props

 

 

1 - INTRODUCTION/OVERVIEW

 

 

What is this mod?

 

The Industrial Revolution Mod - Wall-to-Wall (IRM W2W in short) is an extension to the existing IRM. If you don't know about the IRM yet, I recommend getting an idea of it first - you can find it here.

This extension was inspired by earlier wall-to-wall BATs made by BSP members, by the work of the Manhattanville Project (ABBT) and, of course, by the real-life environments these artists strived to recreate: industry in an urban setting!

 These days, we are used to regarding industry as something that's outside of the city. However, this has not always been true. Historically, many factories have been pretty close to the city centre. Depending on density and real estate prices, no space was wasted and these industrial buildings were built right next to another - or wall to wall, just like rowhouses. Wouldn't it be nice if we could recreate such a scenario in our SimCities and bring the past back to life in SC4? If that's a "yes" in your books, then you may enjoy this mod, which will act as a starter pack and provide you with a selection of 131 lots based on 42 buildings! (The screenshots only show the buildings on one lot each, but there's much more variety.)

 

Since this is still not enough to really get something going, I'm working on a bunch of industrial BATs to add to the IRM W2W. While I'm typing this, I have about 50 industrial BATs in the works that will probably sit on ca. 100-120 lots when finished. This should provide you with enough choice and variation to really take advantage of the IRM W2W.

 

Just like the original IRM, this is intended to be used with Toroca's Industrial Jobs Quadrupler. If that seems excessive to you, remember the following aspects:

  • The IRM W2W is not intended for huge coherent areas, but for smaller patches of W2W industry in urban environments
  • Any IRM mech and out lots to grow around your anchor facilities have been enlarged in surface area (=lower density)
  • Best & most realistic visual appearance can be achieved by making use of the filler lots, and these don't hold jobs

The resulting job density will, in fact, be not that excessive - especially not if you compare it to commercial buildings!

 

Biggest problem when I made this: There were few BATs out there that were suitable for wall-to-wall (W2W) development. Then again, many of the default buildings and many props contained in the dependency packs I used for the regular IRM had the necessary features to make them W2W-compatible. And so I spent 2 years on and off scouring Maxis files and dependency packs, listing suitable buildings, tinkering with the concept, making first drafts and editing countless spreadsheet rows and file properties... and this is the result.

 

What does this mod offer me?

 

This mod is intended to be used as an extension to the IRM. It is not a standalone download! Now, the IRM enabled you to segregate "dirty" and "clean" industry by reserving medium-density zones to old-fashioned, smoke-spewing factories and high-density zones to those polished high-tech facilities. The IRM W2W keeps this basic logic - with the following twists (detailed instructions see below):

 

  • The IRM anchor lots (i.e. the main buildings around which ancillary stuff - the "mech" and "out" lots will grow) for all industry that grows on medium density (i.e. the old-fashioned brick factories) can be blocked using the included blocker. This ensures that only the W2W anchor lots can grow from now on.
  • Now you can lay out separate medium-density industrial zones of pre-determined sizes right in gaps of W2W residential and/or commercial. You can be sure that a wall-to-wall industry will develop there if you did it right. This building will ideally fill the gap and complete a consistent row of wall-to-wall buildings.
  • Once the anchor building has grown, you can zone some regular medium-density industrial adjacent to the anchor lot. This will enable the regular IRM "mech" and "out" lots to grow around it. You can also dress up the surroundings using the IRM Filler Sets for dirty industry (download here) or for manufacturing industry (download here).
  • As per the usual IRM logic, modern manufacturing industry and high-tech industry will only grow on high-density zones, so now you can zone old-fashioned W2W industry in your city and modern industrial parks in the outskirts! This was the main point of the IRM W2W. Using it can result in a city where some old facilities remain in a dense urban environment whereas new industries have settled down in more spacious suburban areas, just like in real life.

Once again, this mod is not recommended for beginners. It is important that you know what you do. You should be clear about the way plugins work, and you should feel comfortable with manual file handling. You should know your way around your plugins folder and be able to find things you are looking for. You should have the IRM and be familiar with it.

 

Its purpose is to recreate a very particular industrial style, so if this style is not a priority for you, then I recommend sticking to regular BATs.

 

How does the mod work? How does it achieve the changes mentioned above?

 

If you intend to use this mod, some basic knowledge about industry will be very helpful. The following sections will provide you with the required background knowledge and with a step-by-step instructions so you can make the best out of this mod.

 

TECHNICAL BACKGROUND - ANCHOR, MECH, AND OUT

 

Industry is divided into three sub-tpyes: "Anchor", "Mech" and "Out" lots. The three types together form industrial compounds that are treated as one facility by the game.

  • Anchor lots represent the core of an industrial compound. They grow first, and only after they have grown can the other two sub-types grow around them.
  • Mech lots can only grow next to an existing anchor building. Typical examples of this sub-type are storage tanks, silos, gas holders, etc.
  • Out lots also require an existing anchor building to grow. They represent outbuildings such as warehouses, sheds, storage buildings, and cargo handling facilities.

 

Whenever you lay out industrial zones, one or more anchor lots will grow first. Afterwards, Mech and Out lots will grow next to an anchor lot and attach to it. The jobs provided by these Mech and Out lots will be added to the jobs of the Anchor lot they are attached to. You don't see this attachment directly, but when you use the Route Query tool and click around a bit on your industrial areas, you will see that Sims only travel to a handful of buildings directly. You will also see that some structures share the same commuter and freight arrows. This is because they have been joined to form a single facility in terms of game mechanics.

 

TECHNICAL BACKGROUND - INDUSTRY ZONING QUIRKS

 

Unfortunately the game doesn't handle industry zones the way it handles residential ® and commercial ©. While the game offers pre-determined lot sizes for R and C, industrial zones are just one yellow surface that's not divided into separate lots by default.

 

Likewise, the game differentiates between "straight" lots and corner lots for R and C, depending on road orientation. Much to my dismay, I had to find out that corners don't matter for industry, i.e. you may have corner lots growing at a straight road section, and "straight" lots growing at corners. This is most probably hardcoded in the EXE, and I cannot help it.

 

Finally, the only way to make really sure that you get anchor lots only is to keep industrial zones separate from another. Remember that the anchor always grows first. If there is just one 1x4 zone not connected to anything, the game MUST grow an anchor lot there. If there is a large connected zone (let's say 12x4), the game will grow some anchors and begin to fill the rest with a wild mix of other anchors, mech, and out lots.

 

2 - USE

 

HOW TO USE - STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTION, BASIC PROCEDURE

 

It is entirely up to you how if you want to develop some nice W2W industry first and then zone W2W residential around, or if you prefer to use the IRM W2W to fill gaps between existing W2W residential/commercial developments.

 

I will demonstrate the fundamentals using the latter method, i.e. first W2W residential, then IRM W2W to fill gaps. This is how it works in a nutshell:

 

1.2d632d3b9c693ed2aa864c7615f0a091.jpg

 

2. 6f7456a9e57ff2cd2c6d5a3e4eff06f0.jpg

 

3. dbc1a140acad4301cfc310f1c1c3da27.jpg

 

4. 9ab1abbcef2ce4b1aee6c3f7873adb7b.jpg

 

Of course, there's only so much you can do with Maxis stuff. This mod will be interesting for people who use existing W2W BATs from artists like the NYBT and BSP members, and others... this can give you results like those shown in the main demo screens - and remember that this is without any industrial BATs and only one collection of W2W rowhouses. I've conducted some tests with a handful of BATs added to the plugins, and that's when things start to become interesting.

 

 

Can I simply add this mod to a pre-existing city/region?

 

If you already use the IRM, yes. And since this mod relies on the IRM, that's the only way to use it sensibly.

 

What will happen to my regular (= non-W2W) IRM lots?

 

The anchor lots will be blocked by the included blocker so that only W2W anchor lots can grow from now on. Lots that have already grown before you added the IRM W2W, however, will stay in your city and will remain functional.

 

What if I want to go back to non-W2W?

 

If you have used the IRM W2W to get some nice wall-to-wall stuff, but now would like to continue with regular industry, this package also contains an IRM W2W blocker that will prevent all lots contained in this IRM W2W base pack from growing after you added it.

 

This means that you can use the two blockers as a manual switch to toggle between IRM and IRM W2W anchor buildings:

  • IRM anchor lot blocker in your plugins folder: only W2W anchors grow, existing regular lots will remain functional
  • IRM W2W anchor lot blocker in your plugins folder: only non-W2W anchors grow, existing W2W ones will remain functional

How to install this mod?

 

Simply unzip the IRM folder and copy it into your plugins folder (or into a sub-folder of your plugins folder). I recommend keeping the folder structure inside the IRM folder.

 

What if I want to de-install this mod?

 

It's pretty much the same as with any other download:

  • Delete all lots pertaining to this mod
  • Save all the cities and exit the game when you're done bulldozing
  • Remove the IRM W2W base pack folder from your plugins

Hint: Just to be sure, I recommend moving the IRM W2W Base Pack folder somewhere else and doing some checks before you delete it permanently. This way, if it turns out you forgot to bulldoze something, you can add it back in temporarily until you're done.

 

3 - DEPENDENCIES

 

This is an extension to the IRM, so all the dependencies of the original IRM base pack still apply. In addition to this, you'll need the following:

 

BSC Mega Props CP Vol.02

 

NOTE: You must be registered and logged into the BSC File Exchange over at SC4Devotion in order to see the download button. Please bear in mind that there are separate logins for the forums and for the file exchange.

 

RECOMMENDED DOWNLOADS (read: shameless self-plug)

 

Industrial Revolution Mod I-D Addon Set 1 for more I-D mech & out lots

Industrial Revolution Mod I-M Addon Set 1 for more I-M mech & out lots

Industrial Revolution Mod I-D Filler Set 1 to dress up I-D areas to your liking using ploppable fillers

Industrial Revolution Mod I-M Filler Set 1 to dress up I-M areas to your liking using ploppable fillers

 

4 - FINAL WORDS

 

Two more years of mind-numbing grunt work - the actual lot editing was the least unpleasant part, although knowing you'll have to do so many more (or knowing that now you'll make a "mirrored" version of the same) kinda takes the fun out of it, too. Then there are those test sessions where nothing seems to grow the way you like, and that's when motivation really takes a plunge. However, some tests with added W2W BATs were quite a pleasant surprise and yielded some industrial zones worth looking at, so I believe this has some potential. The number of takers will probably be low seeing how this caters for a very particular taste and is everything but carefree. I hope some of you guys will appreciate it nonetheless!

 

After this base pack, I'm planning to upload a bunch of I-D BATs customised and lotted for IRM W2W use. A pack of I-M stuff is also in the planning stage (got it all sorted out and prepared to be modded and lotted). So stay tuned!

 

Once again, I would like to thank all the fine people who made the tools, the props, and the textures that I used, as well as the entire SC4 crowd for keeping this game alive, and for having me around.

 

Should you want to share and/or modify this, be my guest - just try not to be a jerk and give credit where credit is due. In case of doubt, just contact me via PM here on Simtropolis.

 

T Wrecks, Jan 14, 2015




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Lol, love it. Always enjoy seeing your lot mods, and these should prove useful :D Thanks for taking the time to lot these, gives me more time for city input over tedious (and mind numbingly long) lot work :P

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So my deepest fear about W2W industrials not being possible to grow correctly has been confirmed. Very interesting workaround.

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Fantastic!  It's almost like being in some kind of rusty tenement or something :p  Wait... wrong user that starts with a 'T'

 

Question: is everything growable only?  I opened a few lots at random and only saw one exemplar.

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@ blunder: Yes, everything is growable only. It would have taken ages to make icons and description texts for 42 ploppables as well, not to mention that your landmarks menu (or whatever menu) would be flooded with at least 42 new entries by this base pack alone, even if I offered just one ploppable lot for each building.

 

You can, however, feel free to use the "Buildingplop" cheat. You will find that all buildings are conveniently grouped together with the prefix "IRM W2W". Upcoming BAT-based IRM W2W buildings will have the syntax "IRM W2W [CREATOR]_[NAME]", e.g. "IRM W2W GC_CrankyShafts" would be the IRM W2W version of gascooker's (GC's) BAT "Cranky shafts".

 

Or you can mix and match naturally grown buildings and buildings plopped inbetween.

 

@ Shy Dude: Yeah, unfortunately it can't be done without some workarounds. However, the somewhat random character isn't always bad. For example, you can make a 12x5 block and fill it with residential W2W buildings - two rows, back to back. One facing the street in the front, one facing the street in the back. Then you fill one end of the block with a medium density industrial area - let's say a 4x5 tile surface - and just wait and see what you get. Sometimes nice combinations grow, even W2W anchor lots right next to another. Then you make historical what you want to keep, bulldoze everything else, and fill any free space with residential/commercial zones or fillers or whatever.

 

If you have a very precise idea what buildings you want to grow where, things can become tedious. See the wrong building grow, bulldoze, repeat... we've all been there, no matter in what context (plots reserved for a skyscraper that always grow drive-in cinemas, anyone?). Plopping (see above) may be the way to go for you in this case. However, if you're open to that certain uncontrollable aspect of SimCity -"I wonder what's going to grow there?" - you can get some pleasant surprises. :)

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Oh i love your IRM and so i will surely love the W2W eddition.I always knew that many original SC 4 Buildings would fit great in an W2W environment or would be W2W compatible.

Same with some residential or commercials,some of them really fit a W2W development.Would be cool if someone would take this as an inspiration.

Thanks for putting that much work into this project.

"And so I spent 2 years on and off scouring Maxis files and dependency packs, listing suitable buildings, tinkering with the concept, making first drafts and editing countless spreadsheet rows and file properties... and this is the result."

Thinking about this makes me already dizzy.But the results speak for themself!

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Thank you, T-Wrecks, for the unbelievable amount of time and effort you must have spent making the IRM and this superb addition.  I'm doing some careful W2W planning of my own and this is really appreciated - I'll be using it for sure.  The two blockers provided are the icing on the cake; very well thought out and executed.  Can't wait to see what pops up!

 

Is there a quick reference list of the custom buildings included in the W2W set?

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Is there a quick reference list of the custom buildings included in the W2W set?

Do you mean in the current set, i.e. in this base pack? Off the top of my head, I think the only models from these prop packs that are also available as individual uploads are:

Brewsters Machine & Tool (jestarr)

Quality Tool Supply (jestarr)

Quality Investment Casting Inc. (jestarr)
Acme Pencil Factory (jestarr)

Small Brick Warehouse (jestarr) (as "Brick Warehouse")

 

That's it AFAIK.

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T Wrecks, your dedication and talent has transformed the industrial landscape of SC4 and it's folks like you who create content like this that keeps making me hit that little SC4 icon on my taskbar day after day, year after year! I don't think I can thank ya enough!!

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That's a nice surprise. I will have to try this very soon. I also love the sample industrial neighborhoods in your pics. Very inspiring.

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Very nice work,glad to see you ar continuing this series and that you are sticking to using the default maxis buildings. This will help people who do not want to get too heavy into modding yet still get the look mods provide.

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Trying this out and it is pretty cool, takes a bit to get used to but the results are awesome, great way to add industry into residential places with some control over what grows.

 

One question, you have two blockers in this set, what would happen if neither were in the plugins? Would this allow both W2W and non W2W anchors to grow?

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Trying this out and it is pretty cool, takes a bit to get used to but the results are awesome, great way to add industry into residential places with some control over what grows.

 

One question, you have two blockers in this set, what would happen if neither were in the plugins? Would this allow both W2W and non W2W anchors to grow?

Yes, absolutely. Without the blockers, both I-D and I-M anchors from the regular (non-W2W) IRM could grow at the same time as W2W stuff. This would cause a highly random mix.

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I am having issues with the ones that use Gascooker's factory halls:

 

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I have downloaded the full dependency list several times; what am I missing here?

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