Jump to content

30 posts in this topic Last Reply

Recommended Posts

As mentioned in the feedback topic, we'd like to gather suggestions for future challenge themes. We have a few ideas in the pipeline, but would like to develop upcoming events particularly around your city-building interests.

Most challenges thus far have been based on general themes. There's been quite a few, including skyscrapers, transport, rural and recreation scenes. In addition, we're considering introducing gameplay tasks, such as urban planning to solve a problem, or creating custom plugins to meet a set brief. So basically, if you've any new ideas, please also post these below. Even if they sound a bit elaborate or complex, we'd still love to hear them! :yes:

The intention is to continue using the Gallery to submit image entries, along with the voting.

When posting an idea, it'd be helpful if you can provide:

  • A brief summary:
    What the challenge would involve / how it might work.
  • Suggested rules:
    If applicable, how the challenge could be kept fair. For some this might be self-explanatory.
  • Target game:
    Should the challenge be limited to a particular city-building game (e.g. SC4, C:S), or is it open to any?
  • Recommended timeframe:
    Suggest a reasonable submission period given the challenge requirements. The shorter events (i.e. 1-2 weeks) will be more frequently run, but the longer ones should be for more complex challenges.


Please post any ideas and they'll be added to the "Ideas Bank" below for consideration.

Should an idea be selected, we may contact you for further information or assistance.

You may submit as many as you can think of per post (feel free to post again with any new ideas).

Thanks! :thumb:

Challenge Ideas Bank

Themed Challenges

  1. Show of Traffic  |  Transportation  |  General rules  |  All games  |  ~2 weeks
  2. City Showcase  |  General theme  |  General rules  |  All games  |  ~1 month+
  3. Best Sense of Americana  |  Country themed  |  General rules  |  All games  |  ~1 week+
  4. City Replica Challenge  |  Recreation  |  General rules  |  All games  |  ~1 month
  5. Alpine Winter  |  Rural planning  |  Require snow, infrastructure built on hilly terrain  |  All games  |  ~2 weeks
  6. Sunny Destination  |  Aesthetics  |  Cannot use desert mod or palm trees  |  All games  |  ~2 weeks
  7. Vanilla Only Challenge  |  General theme  |  No custom content allowed  |  SimCity 4  |  ~3 weeks
  8. Space: The final frontier  |  Sci-fi  |  General rules  |  All games  |  ~2 weeks
  9. Ancient Civilizations  |  Country themed  |  General rules  |  All games  |  ~2 weeks
  10. Historic Development  |  Urban planning  |  Use an established city, with a historic background  |  SimCity 4  |  ~2 weeks
  11. Best Realistic "....."  |  Recreation  |  Aim to make as realistic as possible  |  All games  |  |  ~1 month
  12. Bridges  |  Transportation  |  Show one or more bridges crossing over something  |  All games  |  ~2 weeks
  13. Railroads  |  Transportation  |  Show a train on railroad tracks  |  All games  |  ~2 weeks
  14. Complex Design  |  Urban  |  Design an urban complex area (e.g. university campus)  |  All games  |  ~1 month
  15. Nature Scene  |  Rural  |  Only allowed limited use of man-made structures  |  All games  |  ~2 weeks
  16. Night Shots  |  General theme  |  Image must be taken at night  |  All games (with night mode)  |  ~2 weeks
  17. City Tile View  |  General theme  |  City tile must be shown in full  |  All games  |  ~2 weeks
  18. Waterside  |  General theme  |  Image must be dominated by water features  |  All games  |  ~2 weeks
  19. Photoshop Challenge  |  General theme  |  Image must be edited using a form of software manipulation  |  All games  |  ~2 weeks
  20. Non-Photoshop Challenge  |  General theme  |  Image cannot be edited using software manipulation tools  |  All games  |  ~2 weeks
  21. Animation Challenge  |  General theme  |  Image must be animated in some way (e.g. GIF)  |  All games  |  ~2 weeks
  22. CoriStar Challenge  [1]  [2]  |  General theme  |  Represent ST in a city's layout  |  All games  |  ~1 month
  23. Essay Challenge  |  Instructional  |  Create a written guide to answer the top 5 newbie questions about SC4  |  SimCity 4  |  ~2 weeks+
  24. How to do it?  |  Instructional  |  Explain the steps taken to create an image, so someone else could recreate it  |  All games  |  ~1 month
  25. Best Toll Road / Turnpike  |  Transportation  |  General Rules  |  All Games  |  ~1week+
  26. Simtropolis as an Acronym  |  Other  |  Create an acronym using the letters of Simtropolis  |  Game n/a  |  ~1 week
  27. Pinned Thread Overhaul  |  Instructional  |  Create overview guides to consolidate info in pinned threads  |  SimCity 4  |  ~2 weeks+
  28. GIFted Goodness Drive-In  |  Recreation  |  Create a city scene featuring a drive-in theatre, using an animated portion  |  All games  |  ~2 weeks


Custom Content Related

  1. Content Creation Challenge  |  BAT / Lot / Map / Asset  |  Require multiple images  |  All games  |  ~1 week to 1 month
  2. Facelift  |  Lotting  |  Enhance any default game lot, without changing the dimensions  |  SimCity 4  |  ~2 weeks
  3. Single Dependency  |  Lotting  |  Can only use one selected common prop / texture pack  |  SimCity 4  |  ~1 week to 2 weeks
  4. Modular Complexes  |  Lotting  |  Create an integrated set of lots  |  SimCity 4  |  ~2 weeks
  5. Themed Lotting Challenge  |  Lotting  |  Create a lot to a specified theme (e.g. parks, transport, RCI)  |  SimCity 4  |  ~2 weeks
  6. NAM Challenge  |  Content usage  |  Use the NAM for a specific purpose, such as to showcase or solve a set brief  |  SimCity 4  |  ~1 month
  7. Park & Path Set  |  Lotting  |  Create a set of parks and paths which can be used  |  SimCity 4  |  ~1 month
  8. Roundabout Filler  |  Lotting  |  Create one for both roundabout sizes, each with the same "style" per entry  |  SimCity 4  |  ~1 month
  9. Classic Model, New Lot  |  Lotting  |  An older model that has withstood the test of time should see a new Lot  |  SimCity 4  |  ~2 weeks
  10. Retaining Walls  |  Lotting  |  Create a new type of retaining walls  |  SimCity 4  |  ~2 weeks
  11. Transit Buildings  |  BAT / Modelling  |  Create a transit building model (e.g. stations: train, subway, bus)  |  All games  |  ~1 month
  12. Monuments & Statues  |  BAT / Modelling  |  Create a monument or statue model  |  All games  |  ~1 month
  13. Diagonals & FAR  |  BAT / Modelling  |  Create a form of diagonal building  |  All games  |  ~1 month


  Edited by Cyclone Boom  

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I notice with a lot of RHW interchanges or other photos which show extensive road networks often are taken without any cars on them. But I feel that showing a road actually in use makes for a more complete image. I would suggest for one challenge to be dedicated to the Best Show of Traffic. And it doesn't have to be strictly cars, it could be air traffic or sea traffic.

Of course, SC4 would be the go-to game since there are thousands of downloads available. But then Skylines has a sizable following; why not have it inclusive to the challenge? There are plenty of screenshots of Skylines with a good variety of traffic out there.

As far as rules, I don't think there should be many regulations on it. All contestants should be able to choose to have a certain theme for vehicles (past, modern, future, or mixed) if they wish. I think the only real requirement would be to show vehicles clearly enough to make out how many types are present. And I don't think there should be any rule against having additional/custom vehicles. The more the merrier, right? 

I'd give it two weeks in case there are some last-minute entries. This would be fair to those who want to take the time to make necessary adjustments to their entry if they like.

Just my two cents.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

These two bullet points are mostly from part of another post I made, but they've been edited some:

  • Perhaps a simultaneous long-term challenge? Like one that runs for several months. This could allow for the challenge to be something really big. In this case I would definitely say that the rep amount added per entrant should be greater, and (provided that there are enough entrants) the top 5 would get prizes. I came up with this idea with something like developing a larger space (like a city tile, maybe more) in mind. Entries for something like this would probably need to include more images to really showcase the work. I don't really have an specific ideas for a challenge of this type, but I would think it would be something more along the lines of "best city showcase." I suppose something like this would work with players from both games competing in the same contest.
  • I think that some sort of challenge that caters towards custom content creators would be neat. Obviously this would need to be an additional challenge as there are fewer people making custom content than there are playing the game. It could be a lot or BAT contest. Lot contests could probably be a week-long challenge, but BAT ones would probably need to be a month-long one. These would be going on at the same time as the in-game challenges. Honestly, I could see separating C:S and SC4 being the better route to go here, since the custom content creation process is much different. These contests should likely require for at least one day and one night shot, although I personally think it should have a day and night shot for all angles to really showcase the work.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been thinking of a few projects for myself, but would love to see how people would approach them with their own style:

SC4 Projects:

- replica of an actual city (as close as can be with available lots and bats). 4-week challenge, no restrictions.

- Alpine winter theme. Not just a slope, but an actual thriving city with hills, lots of ice and snow. 2-week challenge. Must use snow mod or type of winter map, must build roads and buildings on at least 1 mountain.

- Sunny destination. Not just sand, but a city that when you look at it, you want to go there for your vacation. 2-week challenge. Cannot use desert mod or palm tree.

- Vanilla mode only. Building a city with no mods, only what is available with the original game. 3-week challenge. No mods, custom bats or custom lots. Nada, zip, zippo...

- Space - the final frontier. The planet blew up and a few survivors escaped Earth and landed on another planet. Build a new world. 2-week challenge. No restrictions.

- Ancient civilizations. Building a city from a different time (i.e. dark age, medieval, renaissance, etc.). 2-week challenge. No limitations.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Echoing everyone else on custom content creator challenges - I think this would be a great one! Several ideas I have for lot editing in particular:

Facelift - Take an existing building's lot and modify it to your whim, but you aren't allowed to modify the existing lot dimensions. No restrictions on props or textures.

Single Dependency - Create a lot using only one particular prop/texture set. Restrictions can be put on some of the more popular and larger collections.

Complexes - Using several lots/models, create a cohesive complex of sorts. Some actual examples of these would be something like the massive multi-phase apartment blocks created by bixel.

Random Themes - These could be anything: parks, plazas, parking lots, office district, shopping, industry, railyards, you name it!

These should all probably be run for 2 weeks max.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been on a hiatus as well but I think a challenge geared toward modern urban planning problems.  My suggestion would be for SC4 and your local professional team request a new home to be located in the central business district.  Of course most of us  have shown these examples before but I would say the challenge would be for a city you have existing already that has a tight core inner city neighborhoods, historic low to mid rise district and office districts.  So of course the challenge would be to integrate  stadium in to the road network, mass transport and parking all the while not destroying the fabric of the downtown.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the idea of different themes such as "Best/Realistic" ghetto/slum, golf course, gated community, junkyard,  trailer park, university, the great outdoors/camping, the homeless tent cities, river villages, etc,

A canal challenge.

A rustic Euro village.

A Central Park challenge

Hollywood Hills recreation

Venice recreation

Amsterdam recreation

San Francisco recreation

Ancient Kyoto recreation

The Ginza recreation

Hong Kong recreation

Mayan Ruins

The south of France

Swiss Alps

A desert island.

30 day time limit.

Challenge presenter names props allowed.

Themed lotting contests, same rules





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to see another NAM challenge. Yeah I know it's been done before and I'll probably will be done again without any prompting. Just want to reinforce the idea as the timing of the last NAM related challenge was both right and wrong. It was right in the sense that the new NAM had recently come out so you'd naturally want people to show off the new features available. But it was also wrong for those same reasons. Because it takes a lot of time and practice for users to master a mod as complicated and time consuming to work with as the NAM.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

How about some ideas from the Building Concepts threads:

Themed Challenge:

Bridges  - one or many but what does it cross?

University Campus Concepts - spread out or intricate

Nature  - only a few buildings at most

Night Shots - we all like the night shots no?

City Tile View - Show us your city tile in full

Railroads - must have a train on the tracks in image

Waterside - at least 1/3 of the image must be water real or plop

Random Ideas: 

Photoshopped / Edited

Non-Photoshoped / Non-Edited

Best GIF  - moving pictures are nice

Lotting Contest Ideas:

Park & Path Set - large set, long contest length

Roundabout Filler  - one for each of the two roundabout sizes, each with the same "style" per entry

Classic Model New Lot - an older model that has withstood the test of time should see a new Lot

Retaining Walls - whose got new retaining wall ideas? don't forget a fence or rail for some

BAT Contest Ideas:

Transit Buildings: Train Station, Freight Train Station, Subway, Bus

Monuments & Statues - winner can be used in a 3x3 park Lotting contest, (my personal preference is for realistically sized statues)

Diagonals and FAR - got an idea for a diagonal building?


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

2016.04.14 - Contest idea.


First Contest:

30 days. Using only plain vanilla, show the best layout to represent Simtropolis as a region. Size of region to be what fits edge to edge on a 4:3 ratio monitor using 1024 x 768 resolution. Choosing this for consistency to tie in later with my essay on building a plenty-good-enough-computer to run sc4 well for nearly free.  (Like, many of the parts are ones peeps have kept because it's too good to throw away, but they personally prolly won't ever use it again. It has served its time with them.)

Anyhow, 1st contest is the best layout with each major area of Simtropolis web site represented by the appropriate whatever in the game. The tile for Simtropolis Home will be a 4x4 blue in config.bmp. It will have a Space Port. Then the subcategories of City: Skylines, SimCity (2013), SimCity 4 Players Forum, and the rest from Forums will have a big airport. These will be 2x2 yellow in config.bmp. They will connect to the blue major tiles. The Forums will be another 4x4 blue and have whatever is appropriate there. Red single dot tiles will contain subcategories and will likely only connect to yellows, but could connect to blue if desired.

Basically what we are looking for here is the transportation network and amount of land the buildings will need. The main tile (Simtropolis Home) will have some sort of visitor's center. Both a big building (mine'll prolly be a huge castle in later contests) and accessory buildings so visitors can decide where to go once they debark from their interplanetary and/or interstellar trip. This tile will likely focus on the tourism crowd.


2nd Contest:

Individual tile for Simtropolis Home. Now add in NAM and CAM and the essential fixes as the only allowed tools. What you may have used to show traffic in the first contest, like a railroad or interstate or whatever can now be replaced with any NAM stuff.  Here we focus on the zoning and major buildings and transportation.

2nd contest co-contests:

All the yellow and red tiles as separate sub contests.


3rd Contest:

Time to add in anything and everything to one's heart's content.


And to whomever runs the contests here, let them add and tweak these rules for anything which I either left out or should have explained better. (I'm submitting this to hopefully spark peep's imaginations. So, really the first contest should be how to write the rules for this Cori suggestion.)


First draft pic before refinement above. This pre-idea was linking up the technical aspects of site revival.


So, take heart. I'm not trying to imply ST is broken with that dead links pyramid. It is more my idea for a database to collect and sort information. (I believe I saw a thread for the active side of missing content retrieval.)


For techy stuff in the plain vanilla contest 1, I'll use schools and colleges and such to represent things like where the knowledge needed to just fix the game might be an elementary school. NAM and CAM would be High School, beginners crafting bats or mods or whatever as College, and so on.


Anyhow, let me know if you like my post. *:blush:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

[...] show the best layout to represent Simtropolis [...]

I really, really like this idea! It's original, it provides a good 'story' to the competition and (I know I'm not very active over here like some of you guys are, but anywaya :) ) something that's really ties in to the community. I'd love to see this come into real existence!

However, I, for one, know that I wouldn't be participating in a vanilla competition. At 13 years of age, SC4 is still (to me) the best game there ever was, and this is the best time ever to be playing it, precisely because of the unbelievable wealth of custom content. Especially since a part of the competition is the community and the masterpieces it has produced over the years I think the competition should be open to all playing styles, vanilla or not. My suggestion would be to make it one competition, and simplify the rules:

  • one run, one city tile
  • free to include CC
  • different places on the map signifying different aspects/parts of the community/forum/website and website upgrading/exchange etc.

but leaving it free to the artists' imagination how, or in what ways these parts should be signified (it will also be very interesting to see the ways people choose to represent these things).

Lastly, I sincerely hope you don't take it I'm hijacking your idea! I'm just trying to give some feedback with my opinions. The idea is still entirely yours. :)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Themistokles said:

Lastly, I sincerely hope you don't take it I'm hijacking your idea! I'm just trying to give some feedback with my opinions. The idea is still entirely yours. :)

No worries at all. This is precisely what I'd hope to spark when I posted. :)

I've already been changing my mind on some things. Like maybe the yellows don't connect directly to any blues. But, leaving it more totally open as you suggest is a better plan. ;)

My idea of vanilla for the first overview is to make so any new to the games peeps can relate to it. By contest 3, absolutely everything is available. (Or, all at once. The community or however these things get decided is fine. My post is merely a springboard.)


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Re-Hiya! :)

I hope I've allowed sufficient time before posting here again. (I am aware I'm posting back-to-back with myself.)


2016. - Contest Idea.

This is to be a written essay / guide of your replies to the top five newbie questions about SC4 and your answers with your short explanation and a linky(s) they should click for the details.

As part of the contest, you decide what are the top 5 questions. I'll do mine by remembering back to when I re-opened the SC4 plain and cut off the shrink wrap from RH patch. That's been on the order of 5 or 7 months ago. Personally, I'd rather see the contest start after about 10 ormore posts of discussing which are the top 5 Qs.

And, just like my Cori Challenge idea above, I do fully intend this to be an instigator of motivating someone to do something they would enjoy.  (Like on a special site dad set me up with other peeps who played in old Dos. Like 6.22 (or earlier, but usually not past 3.3) and we'd have contests such as Concise Code Contests in batch files (which evolved to scripts in windoze dos). But, I digress once again. Point is this contest is geared to the few who really do enjoy helping others by writing such a thing. I'm one, but I often get sidetracked with a zillion other projects too.

I feel the top, number one-ist question would be: Which version should I buy? (The implied question they may not even know to ask is: What will be the best version considering I might want to mod or do anything any other person on ST does?)

So, were I to craft a reply, I'd prolly start out with an mini outline:

  • If you have XP or below ...
  • If you have Vista to Win7 ...
  • If you have 10 ...
  • If you have Mac
  • If you have Linux
  • If you are trying to run this on a pocket calculator or cell phone ...
  • Etc (if I missed any)


Pre-Contest Contest:

Best answer to my sample question about which version.



Switching trains of thought to Simtropolis Site as a SC4D Region. (My Cori Challenge draft above.)

Self note: Need to find if there is a site map so I need not click all menus and write them down to then type them in. Mouse C & P is flaky for me sometimes. I haven't decide if it's a physical mouse aliment or site related, but if I do most of my work via keyboard it's all good. (And I don't mind keyboarding stuff. Just don't care to type more if not necessary.)

More on the first contest of ST As Region (STAR if you want to make it an acronym.) I'd even shamelessly suggest:

  • Creatively
  • Orient
  • Relationships
  • In
  • Sim
  • Tropolis
  • As
  • Region

for the title of the contest. :blush:

Anyhow, I see the first contest to be basically the blueprint one develops after having had the land surveyed but where the "hand of man has not set foot" yet. (From some child's essay to which I do not have a linky.)

Use any building in plain vanilla to represent stuff. Or zone for growable stuff (res, com, ind, ag). And use the transportation of plain vanilla to show the path traffic will take. (This all takes place without time running. And, I suggest the winner of round one has their map be the default downloadable region layout for the next contests.)

See, it's the 2nd contest where I envision adding all fixes, NAM, and CAM. If the contests are to be reduced from 3 to 2, then I do suggest combining 2 & 3 rather than 1 & 2. And I really am not in favor of combining all 3 into a single contest. (Just my opinion.)

If I haven't said it enough: Anyone is free to take any of my ideas I express in public here and run with it. So, you peeps who know more about all of this than me, go right ahead and use this as a springboard to something more refined.



Edit: Random idea:

Maybe use Ag to represent the hunger of questions and intermingle where high tech could go to represent NAM and other teams or groups or such? Perhaps use medium density in contest 1 to represent high tech. Use high density for city's later necessities economically.

In round 2, it is only the location of the type of zone defined by the winner's layout in round 1. In other words the color category for the 4 types of zone-able land and not the density round 2 peeps must follow.

Among other ideas, I envision the ST "world" could have large continents for the different games covered here. ;)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok. Me again. If there are rules against this, I'm breaking them. Sorry. (Let me know.) This time my reasoning to justify a new post is this is a new, different idea, but which ties in with my others. So,


2016. - Suggestion for new definitions from whatever peeps here currently perceive them as.

  • Creation
  • Of
  • New
  • Text(s)
  • Exploring
  • Simplified
  • Teachings

Idea being a Contest is distinguished from a Challenge. Then let Challenge be acronym'd as (hmmm, give me some time ...

  • C
  • H
  • A
  • L
  • L
  • E
  • N
  • G
  • E

To mean something much more in depth.


See, let's have a Contest be one which requires a How-Did-I-Do-It essay along with the image of whatever the contest was about. Like if it's a rural challenge, then the entrant not only supplies the image as is currently done, but must include a concise (or rambling like I do) explanation such that a similarly talented person could re-create the same effect for themselves.

Sec. <brain.activity> Was it Granpa Moose who said get GIMP for images?

Anyhow, perhaps make that the required default program for entries in ST Challenges?


Then, later perhaps, have elite contests where the entrant also provides links to everything above plain vanilla they used. Assume one link will be sufficient to get SC4 NAM and CAM ready. All the essential links to be in guide which is in the works for going from plain vanilla to FIXED sc4. (This needs to have a definitive definition to mean a specific set of steps were completed successfully with regard to the absolute necessary patches.) So, define:

  • Plain Vanilla sc4
  • Fixed sc4
  • NAM'd sc4
  • CAM'd sc4

As the basic basics any newbie should know and be able to acheive. Let's also teach some of our basic tips and tricks for editing our posts. A kindergarten could be set up in CoriStar with the basic mouse trails and keystrokes used to simple create content. Like the one I have in the works is how to use 3 tabs on ST and one or more tabs on 2nd monitor to quickly create those pretty, useful embedded links. (You know where the word(s) are clickable and define the link.)

Oh, and my long term goal is that the CoriStar map winner become the menus to places on SimTropolis Site. After it evolves maybe do changes to certain continents or high density whatevers as a fresh front page for the year (and sub pages too). Or something along those lines. I'll punt now. (Yes, I know what it means. No, I don't care for sports at all. Except I did watch when my Little Ponies won the world series, no wait, the Superbowl.)

Ok. That's the draft version. Have at it! :P

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Cyclone Boom said:


Wow, some interesting ideas there, thanks very much for the input! :thumb:

Thank you ever so much for addressing me directly here. :D


2016. - Contest Idea named: ST Name as Acronym

If the Simtropolis site name were an acronym, what should it be? Here's my entry for the contest. (I suggest multiple entries be allowed.)

  • Site
  • Intended
  • Mainly
  • To
  • Reliably
  • Organize
  • Peep's
  • Original,
  • Legitimate,
  • Ingenious
  • Simulations


And, I really haven't read much of the voting procedure and ranking and such for when a suggestion becomes a live Contest or Challenge, but I do hope it has some sort of playoffs or something after the "regular season" voting. ;)


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

(Risking another back to back post.)

2016. - Elaborating on CoriStar idea:


I'd first suggest revising the edge-to-edge part with top-to-bottom so the Region is to be 11 x 11 pixels in config.bmp. (How one lays out the red, green, blue is up to them.)




(Or do it with land and water to spell out the site name. Or with bridges connecting things. Maybe a non-visible tile would be the Dead Links Project if that has been formed. Or the super techy forums many visitors might prefer to avoid.)

Just posting ideas hoping to spur other peep's imaginations. *;)


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm back. (Getting tired of me yet?) *:lol:


Contest or Challenge Idea:

2016. - Simtropolis as Solar System or really just: What could the site navigation be changed to if that's even something the peep's in charge would consider?


Idea for Site Home Page:

Map is a 4-6 billion mile wide view with Simtropolis Home Planet highlighted. Other planets in the solar system would be CSL, SC2013, SC4, (Etc, if need a couple more). Clicking a planet image takes you to that major sub forum. Zoom is now a Regional view of the relevant 11 x 11 pixel (if sc4, or equivalent in the respective games). Parts of east and west sides of view are clipped off for me on a 4:3, 1024 x 768 screen, but I'm working that into the story behind the layout of Simtropolis as navigable icons or whatever a clickable mini image is on a web site.


2016. - Idea


^ Original image courtesy of Starflight game by Binary Systems. Then tweaked by me. (Needs to be created by a real artist rather than my draft version.)

So, sub menus from here takes one to:

  • The Simtropolis home world visitor's center.
  • SC4 Forums
  • CSL Forums
  • 2013 Forums
  • Social Forums (on home world too?)
  • Etc

Sub forums are then CoriStar or equivalent maps / images for the major games featured here. At this point we can see major developments and transportation network, but not yet detailed buildings. Each main area on this map is then whatever is appropriate as sub forums menus. Clicking an image link in this takes one to the city view.

Clickable areas in city view take one to sub sub forums.

Another zoom in and now we see buildings. Each of which will be a sub sub sub forum.

Mouse-over of any clickable sub image to provide helpful pop up description.


And what about a Galactic Map which shows other affiliate sites as other clickable star systems? Like SC4Devotion or Tarkus's page or any other? Ideally set up agreements with other sites to co-host all the reliable downloads. (Protect against another SimPeglike catastrophe.) And all done by public posted agreement(s), ofc.


Edit: Adding another acronym. As, perhaps, a philosophy behind the navigation alterations I've suggested:

  • Contol
  • Of
  • Real
  • Informative
  • Simtropolis
  • Topics

Like: Say did you see the layout they added for xyz? Yeah, it's the Corist! (pronounced: Cori-ist)




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Guess who? *:8)


2016. - Contest or Challenge: Make new, simplified guides to all of the pinned stuff. Maybe call each a:

  • Comprehensive
  • Overview
  • Revealing
  • Initial
  • Guidance
  • Ultimately
  • Imparting
  • Desired
  • Education


Org draft: 2016. - A Guide to the Guides (or, atm, a guide to the pinned stuff)

Plan is: 1 - 2 paragraph description of each guide or pinned thread, a list of broken links, and (ideally) repaired links too. See, if there are an overwhelming number of pinned topics in each forum then the new person will likely skip them all in favor of creating a post and asking their question. What I'd like to see would be one, maybe two at the most, pinned topics in any given forum list. The first one being the overview of all of the others which are then tucked away in a sub forum. Here's just a sample of some as they are now:

General Discussion


Building Concepts


Bugs & Technical


Bugs & Technical p2


And so forth throughout the site. I feel most of the forums are cluttered with too many pinned topics. I'd like to see these organized and/or re-written. Perhaps the original authors could update their posts. Actual adoption as a guide could be with permission of the appropriate moderator. Like the author would create the guide in public where it is discussed and tweaked until finished. Then the author posts a new thread with the title and short description as post one. A mod would post the content as post 2. A note would be included that all Hearts (likes) be clicked on post 1.

The reason for the guide being posted by the mod is so that it can be updated later even if the OP disappears.

The single overview guide in each forum will then serve as the index to any other guide related to said forum. I believe if it feels simple and intuitive for the newcomer to get help, then they would more likely do so.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I must say I agree that many of the stickies do seem to get missed. However, don't underestimate user laziness. Many will always post, rather than take a few minutes to check a list of common problems. Usually the same people who don't read readmes, and argue when you refer them to such documentation.

However the idea of a de-clutter of sorts would be useful. In a similar vein, perhaps the Omnibus could be given a better name? I'm sure few people know it exists, a very clear name could be a real benefit and is a really minor change.

Perhaps having a few stickied threads, covering a summary of problems/solutions, that linked to tutorials with more detail on the Omnibus would be better? I guess one issue here is not trampling over all those users who've taken the time to write guides in the past. That could be tricky, since especially for users no longer active, it would be hard to pull everything together into one coherent whole. However, the idea of a one-stop shop for SimCity help, tightly organised and kept up to date would surely bring many benefits.

However, it's another of those pipe-dream sort of ideas that can only take off if a number of people band together and commit time to doing it. Without wanting to be cynical, in today's climate, I seriously doubt any such project could realistically be achieved.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


Ofc, there will always be some peeps who would post instead of reading anything else.  But, I believe there might be many peeps who would read things beforehand too. They are the target audience for this idea. Like what about the lurkers? I used this site for several months before I joined. Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water, as it were, just because we can't ever solve everything. :P

With regard to original authors no longer active: I'm guessing somewhere in some Terms and Conditions or Site Rules there's a statement like: All your posted content becomes the property of Simtropolis. Or some such. Anyhow, for those who are not available to continue what they started, consider that they have abdicated their position. Provide a linky to their moved, original topic / guide and then write a new, updated one. Sorry, to the original OP of years ago, but the site must go on without them. (Perhaps mods could send an email to said OPs letting them know what is about to take place?)

I do realize my goals are a bit ambitious. However, I also believe more peeps will be attracted to this site as it becomes easier to navigate and if Hearts were awarded more often for peeps who continually post creative and/or helpful stuff. (Seems only a very few peeps actually use that little like button thinger.)

Or, perhaps, I should take off my rose colored glasses and simply be grateful for how good the site already is. (I've personally already found all I need to enjoy my game. Let me know if I'm poking too hard and upsetting peeps with my critiques and suggestions.) ;)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, CorinaMarie said:

Guess who? 8)


2016. - Contest or Challenge: Make new, simplified guides to all of the pinned stuff. Maybe call each a:

  • Comprehensive
  • Overview
  • Revealing
  • Initial
  • Guidance
  • Ultimately
  • Imparting
  • Desired
  • Education

Haha, certainly a challenge! Looks like our moderators might need to have a spring cleaning of their forums. I'll bring it up with the staff and see what we can do :golly:



As for the other challenge ideas, I think I'll bring the leaders together and go through all of these submissions to see which ones we should start on, and then open up the challenges again! These ideas sound fun and exciting! I can't wait for them to begin :lol:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

2016. - Elaborating on the interactive CoriStar type maps as web pages.

Let's take a guess at the mostly likely reason a person would come here for the first time: Game won't run comes to mind. It could also be what cool stuff can I get? Either way the person's question will always likely start with: Where do I find ...? Whether it be techy info or anything else, I believe that's the first question. So, when representing Simtropolis Home as a city (or planet) it should have an Information Desk (building / city tile) in addition to everything else. This is where the new member can come and say: I haven't read anything else here, but I want to know ...

This clickable building on the home page or the game specific page would take one to a particular forum ready to add a new thread. And, in that particular thread, there is never any gentle (or otherwise) prods suggesting the OP should have read such and such rather than post. Once the question is answered, a mod moves it to an archive sub folder.

All of us older-join-date-wise members would reply with something like: Here's a linky to what will probably answer your specific question. Then, and only then, say: And here's a linky to a guide showing how to search Simtropolis if we are out to lunch or something. Next include a linky to the CoriGuide style introduction to other features. Like it'd be the off world brochure advertising Simtropolis to would be visitors. (Synopsis of the top x number of things one might like here or some such.)

So, this Information Desk Forum would only have two pinned topics. Both are simplified CoriGuide style. One has linkys to all the guides available and the other is the rules for this site / forum. The only threads below the pinned ones are open question threads. For the Guide Index one, have all the clickable linkys be embedded so the text makes sense for what it is. Below it use the hidden content thinger to have a one or two paragraph description of what one finds by clicking above link.

Ideally, we have enough members who would all agree to keep an eye on that forum and reply as best they can.

Now, for the Guides themselves, I really like @rsc204 's idea of placing them ALL in the Omnibus section and renaming it something else. Like GUIDES. (Seems more intuitive to me for what the content might be.)


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

2016. - Challenge Idea

Name: Gifted Goodness Drive-In

Type: Image with a portion being animated

Total Size: 800 x 600 pixels

Description: Create a city scene depicting a Drive-in theater. The scene can be from any of the city building simulation games. The image can be enhanced (photoshopped). The screen for the drive-in to be 350 x 150 pixels. The image which shows on the drive-in's screen to last approximately 10 seconds and would be a preview of the highlights of some thread on Simtropolis. This part to be in the same vein as the carousel display (slideshow) on the home page. Large text transitioning to images might work well.

Game Content: Any mods or whatever add-ons

Sample layout idea:



Alternatives: Make each contest specific to a particular game.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2016-02-07 at 1:51 PM, Cyclone Boom said:

I have some idea, it'd be helpful if you can provide:


  • Suggested rules:

Maybe Add Videos Clips Up to 10 mins

  • Target game:
    Should Support Cities XL and Cities XXL




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used all the major city simulators represented on Simtropolis, and enjoy each one on their own 'ground'.  The challenges which involve all equally are strictly pictorial, and the graphics abilities of each game are quite different.  

I propose a challenge in which all players are given a very specific building plan, even a map like a shopping mall complex, to replicate, or it could be something specific like a community center with each component defined, eg. it must have a library, swimming pool, parkade, etc.

Or it could be something fun and seasonal, like a Christmas Village. 

The criteria should be defined so that builders in each simulator are creating something very similar as best we can, angle of view, zoom level, area size, etc.

I would enjoy seeing the results of such a direct challenge, bringing everybopdy and their 'game' of choice together head-to-head in the ultimate city simulator challenge.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Think that only works for sc4:

Lotting Challenge: Unification and transition.

A set of (min 2) lots that can be used to combine different already existing packages with each other. water streams with parks - transisitions between different seawall sets, transition between different park sets or different parking lot sets, canals, street side beautifications f.e. All in all: A 'bringing different things together lotting challenge'.

Rule: This time a list of dependencies is given. This list settles the things that can be combined with each other. No other (already existing) dependenecies are allowed except of newly done textures and props.


Insecure - if this couldn't be more a ground texture challenge as transitions described above are more about textures, aren't they? So it seems only to be a lotting challenge but maybe better to declare it as a texture challenge and adding a rule: minimum one new created texture. ??

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an Account  

Sign up to join our friendly community. It's easy!  

Register a New Account

Sign In  

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By Chief ZDN
      Security is important. Lots of sites have a security center. Imagine if I am a security researcher/white-hat hacker and I found an exploit. What should I do? Is there a security center? Is it private? Does the community have a good disclosure process?
    • By Chief ZDN
      The major redesign of the site header led by @corinagrigorovici (eh, @CorinaMarie) and @CycleDogg (again, I mean @Cyclone Boom) is awesome. A new logo is included in the top of the logomark (text as a logo). This change also brought a new thing, @A Nonny Moose memorial button with its tooltip. But, anything in the world isn't perfect. Simtropolis' header has some flaws. The logo location is above the logo, which not fine. This isn't a problem if the logo isn't too tall like the Walt Disney logo, but our logo is too tall. So, we need to resize our logo so the logo isn't too tall. Or, switch to unstacked version, like SimCity 4 Devotion or Ubuntu did. If two choices aren't sufficient, you may switch to logomark only version, while using the logo in cases like Twitter avatar. The memorial button location isn't fine, thanks to the very tall logo. The fix is relevant too, fix the logo first, then align the button if not correct.
      I hope you'll accept my suggestions. Sorry for mistakes.
    • By CorinaMarie
      Introduction to Simtropolis

      Image created by @Cyclone Boom using:  Simtropolis Sign by Ceafus 88, and MYOS Make Your Own Sign by jbizzle.
      Hiya! We're so glad you dropped in to see us.
      Simtropolis is primarily a site for people who love City Building games. We have major forums for SimCity 4, Cities: Skylines, and SimCity (2013) as well as a few others in the gamer topics. Our members are friendly, courteous, and helpful and range in skill levels from beginners to technical gurus.  The forums are where we discuss all manner of city building ideas. Whether you are a player or a custom content creator (or both) we have places ideally suited for your needs. If you haven't signed up yet to be a member, how about dropping by our New Member Registration Page?
      We also have the SimTropolis EXchange which is our files section containing (literally) thousands of files to improve on the basic games. These include bug fixes, maps, textures to change the terrain-related aspects, lots, buildings, props, game altering mods, and more. These are available for download by members and guests alike. (However, members are not presented with any ads.)
      Now, of course, we do have some easy to abide by rules you'll want to read in the Site Guidelines and for custom content creators and users in the STEX Code of Conduct. Be sure to check those out because they apply in full force to everyone here whether you read them or not.
      Ok. Have you registered yet?
      I'll wait.
      Great! Now that you are a member you can Introduce Yourself Here.
      And here's how I've laid out the rest of this introductory thread:
      Basics of Using the Forum Software Overview of the Forums Overview of the STEX Overview of the Omnibus You can click those links above or just scroll down as each one is in its own separate post in this thread.
      Also, if you have any issue come up which you feel is best discussed in private, feel free to send a Private Message to one of our Staff Members. Tip: Look over on the right side of that page to see which of us has been most recently active. That doesn't guarantee we didn't just log off 2 seconds after you view the list, but it does increase the odds you'll get a quicker reply. Do keep in mind even if we are online we cannot always respond immediately as we may be working on another important issue.
      I hope you find this site as enjoyable as I do.
    • By IL.
      Is it just me or Simtropolis removed the chat feature?
    • By Dirktator

      Introducing "Clubs"
      With the latest update of our community software, we're pleased to introduce the new "clubs" feature at Simtropolis.
      A club is a sub-community within Simtropolis.
      Any member can start a club. Club owners define the purpose or theme of their clubs.
      Other Members can join clubs or be invited into one.
      A club will have its own internal hierarchy of staff and members.
      All clubs will be able to create their own sections with discussion forums, city journals, galleries and/or STEX downloads.
      So if you want to dive in, go ahead. Or if you want to know a little bit more, details below!
      Types of Clubs
      The Club Owner can define the "openness" of the club; the following types are available:
      Public clubs - Clubs that anyone can see and participate in without joining. Open club - Clubs that anyone can see and join. Closed club - Clubs that anyone can see in the directory, but joining must be approved by a Club Leader or Club Moderator. Non-club-members who view the club will only see the member list - not the recent activity or content areas. Private club - Clubs that do not show in publicly, and users must be invited by a Club Leader or Club Moderator
      For closed clubs, there's an approval process:
      Users can request to join a club. the request must be approved by a leader. Leaders get a notification when a user requests to join. The user gets a notification when their request is approved or denied.  
      Club Users
      Each club has three levels of user:
      Leader - A leader has all of the permissions of a moderator, and can add other moderators. They can also add content areas (see below). The club owner is automatically a leader. Moderators - Moderators, as the name implies, have the ability to moderate content posted within the club. Moderators can also remove members from a club. Users - Anyone else that joins the club.  
      Club Content Areas
      Club Owners can create a variety of content areas for their club, including forums, city journals, galleries and STEX downloads. All of these areas will function just like they would on the core Simtropolis site, but they're associated to your club. That means they will appear in search results, activity streams, they can be followed, shared and embedded, and of course will respect whatever user permissions have been assigned.
      Create a Club for...
      your BAT team your region game group your City Journal - or expand a city journal into a club your indie projects discussing your favourite topics sharing files critiques brainstorming socializing ...whatever you'd like.  
      You should know...
      We want clubs to be a fun extension of Simtropolis, so we're not going to bog things down with a lot of upfront rules. Let sound judgement and common decency guide you. But you should know:
      No club is 100% Private. Even clubs set to "Private" can still be viewed and moderated by site staff and admins. Your club is moderated by you first. Site staff will only ever step in if we receive concerning reports or if the club moderators have not been responsive for whatever reason. Our Guidelines for acceptable conduct applies to all clubs. An admin may request you to alter, moderate or remove content that we deem to be inappropriate. Admins reserve the right to close a club for any reason at any time with no explanation.  
      Got a question?
      Thanks for checking out the new "clubs" feature. Feel free to post below if you have any questions about the club system or if you need some help on how something works.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


Help Keep Simtropolis Online, Open & Free!


Get the best of the best from the STEX!

Expand your city with the best from the Simtropolis Echange. Make a donation and get one or all three discs today!

Make a Donation, Get a Gift!

We need to continue to raise enough money each month to pay for expenses which includes hardware, bandwidth, software licenses, support licenses and other necessary 3rd party costs.

By way of a "Thank You" gift, we'd like to send you our STEX Collector's DVD. It's some of the best buildings, lots, maps and mods collected for you over the years. Check out the STEX Collections for more info.

Each donation helps keep Simtropolis online, open and free!

Thank you for reading and enjoy the site!

More About STEX Collections