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Hello before I get much further this time around in making bats. I would like to ask how do I make sure my prop is not sitting in the air?...

 

Ive been through some of my old files and found that  a few were said not to be seated or centered right. 

 

Before I start releasing new bats I want to make sure they are working right.

 

coop_gmax_Model.jpg

 

Here is a chicken coop I am currently working on. If I understood right in a post I read the LODs are what determins if the bat is centered correctly. Am I correct?

How do I know if it is sitting on the ground and not in the air?


  Edited by Mary Maurine Mayo  

Renamed thread

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Before you start with any of this, select the entire scene by dragging around all the objects. Then group everything together (VERY IMPORTANT).

If adjusting the height, do that first. However, it looks like you've got it right to me.

If you want to be 100% sure:

  • Create a new object, a simple rectangle is best.
  • Make sure that's at exactly 0, hence a 2D object should be used because it has no height to mess with things.
  • In Grid and Snap Settings make sure only Vertex is selected.
  • Lock movement to the z-axis only.
  • Grab one of the Vertex's at the very bottom of the grouped model. Drag it to snap to the temporary object.

You can now delete the temporary object. Still keeping all the objects grouped, you can now centre the model on the X/Y Axis. Simply highlight the group and set X and Y to 0 and it will perfectly centre everything. You can now ungroup everything if you want.

You'll need to remake the LODs having made these changes. Both the LODs and the model must be in sync here or everything will go wrong.

 

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Well the LOD does determine it, but if you are using automatic LODs, then the LODs are created by where the model is. As far as I understand, the LOD is always 0,0,0 in the game, but the model inside it can be in off centred position.

The X and Y must be 0,0 if you want the model is centred.

You must select all objects and group those as one. But be careful if you have extra objects in the scene. I see a white ball, and if that is included in to the grouping that will affect where the model's centrepoint is.

 

So this model in the picture is off centred.

 

For Z axle, height, I just take front view and check that the model is on or just above the Z 0 line. Which is a black line in GMAX. It can be just a bit above this line and you will not notice it in the game.

 

This off centred can be used for an advantage. If you need to do a prop that is outside of the lot, such as a road side decoration, then you can create a off centred model, so that the model box is in the lot area, but the visible model can in roadside pavement.

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  • Original Poster
  • The ball and black box are my tools to guage size in relation to a sim in game. I created it back when I was doing bats cause I was told my buildings were to tall or my doors to small.

    Thank you... This is very helpful. I appreciate the advice.

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  • Original Poster
  • Hello everyone

    After taking a look at several props I did in the past many of them will be replaced with newer versions. Before releasing them they will be tested for

    Centering

    Seating

    Shadows

    Texture

    Size accuracy

    I am not happy with many of the old props. 

    @T Wrecks thank you for pointing the shadow issue out on the LG Grain silo.

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  • Original Poster
  • My prop packs will contain two versions.

    1. All props in one .dat file

    2. The model file and the .dsc file in one dat file meaning

    .sc4disc and .Sc4model files will be placed in one .dat file. 

    For example

    Redbarn.sc4dsc and redbarn.sc4model file will be placed in redbarn.dat for the one single prop. Each prop will have its own .dat file.

    This for those wishing to just have the one single prop instead of grabbing a mega pack with 20+ props.

    *****WARNING*****

    The more single files the game has to load the longer it will take for the game to load....

    So lets say I have 4 props you want you will now have 4 files for the game to load instead of one file that contains all the files.

    My texture packs will remain in one single dat file. I see no reason to change that. 

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    that is why, usualy, for props, people make prop packs. And also having the choice of having only some props or not, is not important, because they are not appearing unless you make them into a lot. not like buildings, where you may want to choose from the ones you want to grow on your city. Prop pack is the way in.

     

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  • Original Poster
  • warehouse1.png'

    here is a little something I cooked up today... lets just call it a warehouse. older style building intentionally left rather bland looking as its a industrial type building. I even worked out the nite lighting... 

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  • Original Poster
  • XRax_Update.png

    todays project. This is an update to the original XRax houses I lost the original model so I had to make a new one. This Model since I am fond of chineys and fireplaces I added one the deck is larger and I also gave this one a front steps. I have 4 windows left to do and some light fixtures then I can start adding textures.. I found that the originals that were posted a while back on the stex were not seated right preventing me from adding flora close to the house. and making it compleately unuseable. so I rebuildt it from the ground up. I will be adding  a garage to this model like the prev ones. Another work in progress so any comment are welcome.. 

     

    the model in the prev post is still being worked on... 

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  • Original Poster
  • xraxupdatgarage.png

    ok so here we now have the garage and I extended the house some. I just need to fix up the back since I did some fancy foot work and moved the windows ect. but you can kinda see that in the back we have the deck. but I am about ready to start applying the textures....

    @CorinaMarie this is the update to the house I am placing on the soybean farm. It will have a darker pink siding texture so it will actually look pink. and not white... I was just not happy with the way the old house sat and did not want to place a bad bat on the lot.. 

                                Still a work in progress... Soon as I get a few more things done I will post an update with the textures done and then I will work on the night lighting... The garage is not attached to the house.. it will be a bit offset from the side of the house... Pluss I am not doing the pieces seperatly like we did before. A base texture will be used for the drive way.. 

     

    once the main bat here is done like the old Xrax homes these will also be released as different textured homes. grey pink white brick dark brick ect...

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  • Original Poster
  • warehouse1_1.png

    took out the concrete it was preventing me from lining trucks up the the bay doors right. added two dumpsters I didn't like the maxis ones. still have more work to do on this model. The Lot which will remain a mystery for now... I did figure out the transit stuff found yet another tutorial for that. so when I get the rest of the lot figured out with the temp model ill finally tell ya'll what it is... lol... starting to enjoy being mysterious. :)

     

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  • Original Poster
  • KCP_PropPack1b.png

    upcomming update on the KCP Proppack 1 .... 

    1.  blue xrax house
    2. Rock xrax house
    3. pink xrax house
    4. 3 fields
    5. 3 soybeans
    6. corn crop
    7. new barn 

    The new barn now has a second floor as well as 4 stalls. and a dirt ground. I just could not abide it not having what most barns have I left both top and bottom doors open to be able to see inside the barn. 

    1. chicken coop
    2. fence Short,long,gate
    3. new bee boxes
    4. Sm grain silo
    5. LG grain silo
    6. 3 hay bails

     

    19 new props that will be used on future Farm lots... soon to be uploaded to the STEX as an update. ATM they are all seperate files I hope for the next update to have two versions of the pack 

    A. one dat file containing all props

    B. a folder containing each individual prop for those who only want to use a single prop rather than a whole prop pack...

     

    Two new bats are in the works to replace some old bats that did not age well with the times

    1. Storage shed

    2. another farm building a horse shed what ever its called...lol

    3. Double and single garages 

    4. Mail Box

    5. Storage Building or Warehouse

     

     

    also more xrax houses to come.

    1. Yellow

    2. Green

    3. Light brick

    4. Dark Brick

    5. White

    6. Dark Blue

     


      Edited by Mary Maurine Mayo  

    added more information

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  • Original Poster
  • I hope that non of these buildings look cartoonish  as my review of my last farm states. I have been in the process of updating all the props from my older prop packs... 

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    11 minutes ago, Mary Maurine Mayo said:

    I hope that non of these buildings look cartoonish  as my review of my last farm states. I have been in the process of updating all the props from my older prop packs... 

    Your models look good, they have detailed texture, complex design, and the color levels blend very well.   I like all the building props I've seen of yours so far, and your work inspires interest in agriculture and the Mars project especially, offering something special from the usual city stuff.   Your base texture package, the one I used, has several useful base-textures for lot-making.    I understand the inordinate amount of time and concentration that goes into all the work we do on these SC4 files, and appreciate your continuing inspiration and contribution.

    With all the above said, in my technical/artistic opinion, I think the critique referring to 'cartoonish' may be mostly the result of the intensity of saturation of color in the green fields.  Maybe try toning down the intensity of color, especially in the greens, maybe somewhat in reds as well.  Cartoonish-looking graphics are usually very bright and heavily saturated primary colors with low detail.

    Look forward to more of your work, and thanks.

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  • 3 minutes ago, RandyE said:

    Your models look good, they have detailed texture, complex design, and the color levels blend very well.   I like all the building props I've seen of yours so far, and your work inspires interest in agriculture and the Mars project especially, offering something special from the usual city stuff.   Your base texture package, the one I used, has several useful base-textures for lot-making.    I understand the inordinate amount of time and concentration that goes into all the work we do on these SC4 files, and appreciate your continuing inspiration and contribution.

    With all the above said, in my technical/artistic opinion, I think the critique referring to 'cartoonish' may be mostly the result of the intensity of saturation of color in the green fields.  Maybe try toning down the intensity of color, especially in the greens, maybe somewhat in reds as well.  Cartoonish-looking graphics are usually very bright and heavily saturated primary colors with low detail.

    Look forward to more of your work, and thanks.

    I was not sure what he was refering to... Thank you.. I will try to do that.. I appreciate the honesty. Helps me learn more...

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    Yes, I agree that colour intensity/saturation may be an issue here. Generally speaking, when you plop your buildings in a vanilla Maxis environment that's representative of the environment in which your buildings will be used - a rural farming area with little villages in this case - and you zoom out a level or two, your buildings should not stand out from the background and be immediately noticeable. If they do, they won't blend in very well.

    Another detail you may want to check is scale and proportion. I know Maxis has been horribly inconsistent in terms of scale and is not the easiest reference to go by. However, there are some proportions within your buildings that should match real-world proportions if you want to avoid a cartoonish appearance. For example, the entrance door of your xrax houses appears to be as tall as the garage door, and it may be even taller than the main door of that red barn.

    The ladder leading up the brown silo (a model which I like very much otherwise!) is another example: apparently it's as wide as the steps leading up to the entrance door of the xrax houses. Now, how wide might these be in real-world terms? 3.5 to 4 feet? So this means that the ladder would be well over 3 ft wide as well in real-world scale.

    BATs like your chicken coop and the brown silo as well as complicated structures like that twin silo show clearly that you have what it takes to make superb BATs - all that's left to fine-tune IMO is some texturing details and the scale/proportions of your BATs. You're making really good progress, and I'm sure you'll master all remaining challenges as well, so happy BATting and keep them coming! :)

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  • Original Poster
  • Last night I worked on the soybean plants and what I tried to do was tone down the green from the very almost lime green to a darker green.. so What I did was make the lower leaves darker and the next set up a bit lighter and left the top the lightest since that is where the sunlight reflects off the plant I also as a closer pic of soybeans i made the stems brown instead of the green I had. I was hoping this would help tone that bright color down some. I also made the plants a bit larger. and I was able to render them in three rows instead of one which I spaced out some. 

    @T Wrecks
    The doorways I have been using a tool that I called a simRuler I made years ago for this same issue. Years ago I ran into this issue with doorways looking to big or to small. So I made a tool bat.. its a block that is 1x2x2. perhaps that scale is off it has been years since I have remeasured or checked that scale. it was to represent how tall =1 and wide=2...  I can double check that scale in relation to the measurements of a sim. Ok so I just used a prop a shopping woman from BSC to check the doorways the garage looks like the perfect height for the garage door checked it with a car from maxis and looks like it should be about right, However my scale i used for the size of a sim is indeed off so I will have to make a new one... it was perfect for the doorway to the garage. I will resize that. I also noticed that the vent above the door for the attic area needs to be much smaller. The twin solos I will at some point do over I just didn't want to mess with it just yet as it will most likely have to be completely redone. 
        The house doors look like they need to be shorter and and the width slightly smaller. the Ladders as well as all the steps will need to be slightly changed as well. so I will work on that. the windows seem a bit big as well now that I look at it using a sim by the BSC team. so I will work on that as well. The sliding door in the back I am not sure as the size for it but I would also assume at this point that the sliding door is also much to large. 
    ok so I just did a double check on the doors for the house and garage and i loaded a maxis sim and this was my result. The garage is to small as in height. The Garage door is to short given the size of a Maxis Sim. because Garage doors are taller than a real person and these doors are as tall as a maxis Sim. The BSC sim I used is half the height of a Sim from the game itself. I am not sure if which measurement to use the Game sim or a BSC Sim. but  using the game sim woman waiting the house door seems right in that the height looks right to me... I am 5.3 my apt door is 6x4.. so I did a google ask a door in the metric system is 1.829 meters tall and 1.219 meters wide. I believe  gmax is using the metric system. and a sim is 1.524 tall and 1.143 wide and thats going by my own measurements of being 5.3 tall and given my weight I am 45 inches wide. yes I am heavy... hate to admit that but its true... a garage door is 15 feet = 4.572 wide x 7 feet tall =2.134 tall. so with the new measurements I hope to have better sized doors. those would be real life measurements. I would assume that a barn door would be as big as a garage door. I will try these measurements and see how they pan out. i am just going to use a test block to test this out before i do the fixes in the bat. the ladders i am also assuming would just be as wide as a person so that would be 1.219m wide and I think they are 2m wide so that is def off scale for sure because the measurements I was using are way off. That means my tool i have on the STEX is also way off and I will make a new one and post that one for the proper measurements once I see these are working... 

        Barns
    I have used mostly Reds for the color of the barns because in my area most barns I have seen are Red. I am trying to redo the barn colors using what textures I can find. ATM I am not very good at creating my own textures so I have been stuck using what textures I can find.. 
    Roofs
    I did notice that the shingles on all the roof of the xrax home are not right I noticed it while doing the new barn in which I had to rotate the texture for them to be going in the right direction. I will have to do that on the xrax houses as well. 
    Soybean Plants
    Just checked the new soybean plants and they are no longer that bright lime green color. they are darker in color. 
    (Pic)

    soybean-Darker.png

    bottom right hand side are the new darker colored soybean plants.. right next to that you can see the comparison. I hope this looks better to peeps. I'll have to do the same with my corn prop. Wish I still had my model from10 years ago... :)

    also by the fence gate are my new bee boxes and I simply made them smaller and varried the colors... looked up bee boxes to find out what they actually looked like... and you can also see a sim by the BSC team this sim is smaller than the ingame sim about half the height... 

        Thank you both @T Wrecks , @RandyE  for your honestly in my work. I would rather peeps be honest with me instead of worrying about hurting my feelings. Honestly is the best policy that I know of and constructive criticism is much more helpful than peeps not being honest so thank you both very much I have a baseline to go from now so I can fix some of the things that need fixing. 

    I do have a question that I hope someone can help me with and its regarding the large twin silos. As @T Wrecks pointed out there seems to be a problem with the shadows. It looks like it is casting two different shadows and I have no idea how to fix this issue. any advice would be helpful. I did try the merging it into a new scene  and it did not work still have the same issue. 

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  • Original Poster
  • @T Wrecks

    simtest2.png

    as you can see I have done some extensive testing to try to get these measurments right for at least ingame play.. I think I have the door height right but the width of the door seems a bit small to me. before I go further I would like some input. The door should it be a bit wider? it just looks a bit off to me....

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    The vegetables look to have more contrast, more detail and not so bright now.  The chicken coop red was about right from the start I think, its not like a 'fire engine' red, but a 'rustic' red, which would be familiar in farmlands. 

    Thank-you for sharing the process of making these models as it helps me see what is involved as I do intend to graduate to making models.  In some way this is probably the best way to introduce the process as you were going to do a tutorial anyway.

    In the lower picture the door seems a bit narrow to me, but in the textured picture above it, not so much, it more so fits the framing of the front of the house.  One way to make it more proportional might be to make it slightly shorter, if that still works with the scale.

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  • Original Poster
  • 6 minutes ago, JP Schriefer said:

    We use the metric system here, and it's an absurd a door having 1,83 meters tall, because it's very common people be like 1,85m~1,95m :P
    The recomended measures, at least here, is 2,1m x 0,8m.

    I just converted the standard us measurements to metric and thats what it gave me..lol... i did find  however as T Wrecks said the in game mesurments  are not all right...lol... I really had to do some testing here to find out just how tall a sim is and in doing so found they were not even sitting on the ground which prob means that the LODs were not right same with the BSC peeps I tried. But I gave it my best guess and came up with something at least. 

     

    1 hour ago, RandyE said:

    The vegetables look to have more contrast, more detail and not so bright now.  The chicken coop red was about right from the start I think, its not like a 'fire engine' red, but a 'rustic' red, which would be familiar in farmlands. 

    Thank-you for sharing the process of making these models as it helps me see what is involved as I do intend to graduate to making models.  In some way this is probably the best way to introduce the process as you were going to do a tutorial anyway.

    In the lower picture the door seems a bit narrow to me, but in the textured picture above it, not so much, it more so fits the framing of the front of the house.  One way to make it more proportional might be to make it slightly shorter, if that still works with the scale.

    Thanks my goal was to turn the brightness down a few notches. Yes I am currently placing the red used on the chicken coop on the new barn. I had to compleatly redo the doors as the design no longer fit with the red it just looked odd with the white trimming. maybe if I lightened up that red it might work but I don't really want to do that ATM... '

     

    and yes my thoughts on the door seemed to narrow to me as well but wanted some input before I changed that. I am restarting those houses rather than try to fix the current model which will be a major pain in the you know where.. I also have found a better way to do the roof and the trim which I found doing the new barn. so I will be using that technique instead of what I used on the first model. It is also much easier to do... 

     

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    I would say to ignore the sims entirely, whether they're the animated Maxis ones or models by other people. I would highly recommend strictly working from a real-world scale basis, prior to vertically scaling the models up 133% on the Z axis to compensate for the game's "squishing." Trying to base scale off of modeled people will likely lead to weird results.

    And I also agree that you should just work with metric in the first place. I'm from the US so I was taught the Imperial system, which means it's usually what I think in terms of, but I've had to ignore that and get used to using the (significantly better in every way) metric system since that's what the game uses. A significant benefit of working with manageable decimals in meters is your model will be easier to work with... is the car 5.2m long or 5.1674903m long?

    I might suggest trying a door that is 1m (Americans have big doors) wide and 2.3m high. Once it's vertically scaled up 133% it should look pretty normal in-game.

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  • Original Poster
  • 2 minutes ago, MushyMushy said:

    I would say to ignore the sims entirely, whether they're the animated Maxis ones or models by other people. I would highly recommend strictly working from a real-world scale basis, prior to vertically scaling the models up 133% on the Z axis to compensate for the game's "squishing." Trying to base scale off of modeled people will likely lead to weird results.

    And I also agree that you should just work with metric in the first place. I'm from the US so I was taught the Imperial system, which means it's usually what I think in terms of, but I've had to ignore that and get used to using the (significantly better in every way) metric system since that's what the game uses. A significant benefit of working with manageable decimals in meters is your model will be easier to work with... is the car 5.2m long or 5.1674903m long?

    I might suggest trying a door that is 1m (Americans have big doors) wide and 2.3m high. Once it's vertically scaled up 133% it should look pretty normal in-game.

    I will ignore the sim size then... thats why the door is so thin was cause I based it off the new sim scale.. 

    ok so B.A.T uses the metric scale correct.. so when I hand type the size say i want a window that is 18x18inch = 0.457x0.457m the 0.457 would be the numbers I use.. Am I correct??? 

    next question 

    I might suggest trying a door that is 1m (Americans have big doors) wide and 2.3m high. Once it's vertically scaled up 133% it should look pretty normal in-game

    how do you scale it up 133% vertically???

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    In the case of a window that size, I'd suggest making it a 0.45m square for the sake of easier math and an easier time with equal spacing or symmetry if that is needed for a model. Plus 0.007m (literally 7 millimeters!) is going to be 100% invisible in the game, even on an HD render from 3DS.

    Scaling up can be done with the scale tool. Some people prefer to simply model their stuff from the beginning with this 133% vertical scale in mind, but I personally find it weird and it throws me off so I do it after I finish the model. It's a matter of taste really. If you do it from the beginning then the scale tool isn't used, you'd just make things scaled up in the first place (e.g. 1m tall object will be made 1.33m tall... you can see why it throws me off, thirds are not fun to work with!). If you chose to do it after the model is done, you group the whole model, click on the scale tool (it's on the toolbar at the top, next to the rotation tool), and then right click on it. It will bring up a little window with the X, Y, and Z scale, which will all be 100. Then you just replace the Z's 100 with 133. After that you'll need to position the model properly on the Z axis again, because the tool will increase its Z dimension equally up and down, meaning the model will dip under Z = 0. After that you can texture it (I'd advise against doing textures beforehand, because the textures will obviously get stretched if you do it before you increase the scale).

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  • Original Poster
  • 5 minutes ago, MushyMushy said:

    In the case of a window that size, I'd suggest making it a 0.45m square for the sake of easier math and an easier time with equal spacing or symmetry if that is needed for a model. Plus 0.007m (literally 7 millimeters!) is going to be 100% invisible in the game, even on an HD render from 3DS.

    Scaling up can be done with the scale tool. Some people prefer to simply model their stuff from the beginning with this 133% vertical scale in mind, but I personally find it weird and it throws me off so I do it after I finish the model. It's a matter of taste really. If you do it from the beginning then the scale tool isn't used, you'd just make things scaled up in the first place (e.g. 1m tall object will be made 1.33m tall... you can see why it throws me off, thirds are not fun to work with!). If you chose to do it after the model is done, you group the whole model, click on the scale tool (it's on the toolbar at the top, next to the rotation tool), and then right click on it. It will bring up a little window with the X, Y, and Z scale, which will all be 100. Then you just replace the Z's 100 with 133. After that you'll need to position the model properly on the Z axis again, because the tool will increase its Z dimension equally up and down, meaning the model will dip under Z = 0. After that you can texture it (I'd advise against doing textures beforehand, because the textures will obviously get stretched if you do it before you increase the scale).

    ok thats cool didnt know you could do that.. i dont add textures anymore untill the model is done.. throws the mat stuff off... i did the windows 1mx1m for  easier math for me... lol

    ok I did the doorway the mesurments you gave above and the windows 1mx1m ill post a pic in a few..

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        What makes PMR different from Dropbox regions?
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        No city permissions. There was no real way of protecting one's saves from others, since Dropbox regions were typically configured to handle permissions only at the directory level. As a result, most regions were strictly private. Adjacent save overwriting. In every save operation, SimCity 4 doesn't just modify the current tile, but also the adjacent tiles. Because of this, it was previously impossible for two players to play in adjacent cities at the same time. Complicated setup. This isn't such an issue for powerusers, but configuring SimCity 4 to run from the Dropbox path was tricky for many newer players. PMR overcomes all of these issues by having a server and launcher that are specifically designed for SimCity 4 regions. I have attached a diagram that shows how the saving system allows for city permissions and adjacent playing.
        How to try PMR out
        If you want to try out Poppy Multiplayer Regions, just follow these steps:
        Register for an account at http://getpmr.com/join Download the launcher from the PMR website, or download from the STEX Install and launch the client. Then, connect to a region and log in with your PMR account. The PMR Launcher does all of the synchronization and launching for you. You can view the Readme file that installs with the launcher for more information.
        How permissions work in PMR
        PMR uses what is known as a claims system. In this system, you can only edit cities that you have claimed. All other saves will be ignored by the server. To claim an unoccupied tile, just save it; you can find unoccupied tiles in the Launcher Map that pops up whenever you connect to a region.
        Choose wisely -- you can only claim one tile per region, and you can't abandon a claim.
        What's next?
        PMR is still a work in progress -- the launcher is still a Release Candidate. I've ironed out most of the kinks, but there still might be some small bugs and errors. I'd greatly appreciate it if you could try out the launcher and give me feedback to improve it.
        So far, there is only one region ("Anise") that consists of 36 large tiles. I'm not sure how quickly this will fill up, but when it does I will expand it or add another region.
        A note on plugins
        PMR synchronizes plugins, and I've included my Underwater Ferry Connectors in the Anise plugins set to demonstrate this. Since redistributing others' plugins requires explicit permission, I am wondering if anybody is interested in having their plugins added to the Anise region.
        Thanks, and have fun!

      • By jmak
        In order to use this launcher, you will need to register for a PMR account at http://getpmr.com/join
        Poppy Multiplayer Regions (PMR) is a new multiplayer solution for SimCity 4 that allows for save protection and adjacent tile editing. The PMR launcher automatically synchronizes regions and launches SimCity 4 for you -- all you have to do is choose a region and log in.
        To learn more about PMR, please see my post on the forums. There is also a Readme that is installed along with the launcher.
      • By edwardjeria
        Hi guys, it's me ...
        I decided to open this new topic to show my work in the Bat's by Sketchup.
        I know there are some who oppose the use of this program, like some who criticized my first rookie job. that's why, after a few of tutorials and practices, I think I have what it takes to take this project ... I hope your support and patience ... regards
        I want to give special and applause to:
        *Diego Del Llano
        *Jasoncw
        Thanks guys, without you, I would not have made it
         
        PD( Sorry for my English. I'm Chilean)
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