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i hope i'm right here, but it seems to be the best place to upload and post my stuff about Copter and Streets. Erm yes, these games are a matter of choice, some love it like me and ++Weeds++ some other totally hate them for whatever reason (many).
yes they are clumsy, yes the graphics look even obsolate for 96/97, look, there are obvious reasons why this had to be, we create "scenarios" from SC2K cities, this limits the possibility of graphical cool stuff a lot. in a sort of way it's like for "Pioneer Space Sim" which i co-developed for a time (i was mainly responsible for modelling until i was pushed out).
if i show it off to my young friends they also feel the graphics sucks, but a open world and procedural generation limits the possibilities much.
similar it's for these two games, because everything is based on the interchangeable city files it limits other things, it's not a specialised racing game (e.g. NFS or Sports Car from the same time period), neither it's a specialised Helicopter simulation.
that the game is buggy is to me very good to understand, and in fact run under proper conditions it isn't as buggy as many claim.
however i have a lot of fun playing both games, i really like them including their sympathic backdraws and bugs. nah, certainly it's not good for a young dude who is used to play hi-res racing games on his PS4 or PC. But surprisingly we have young fellows who get interested and like those games, for what reason ever, so called retro gamers (i can't call myself a retro gamer, i just never played something else as what i love to play, no matter if it's aged 40 years).
In advance to everything else my hints to run those "buggy" games flawless in a recent Windows or OSX release (to show you that they aren't as buggy for real).
WINDOWS (any other as Win95 and DX1 to DX6)
Use Simply "DXWnd"
This utility was intentionally ment to run fullscreen applications windowed even if they won't otherwise. but it can be used with very good results to run old Windows games on recent Windows releases. Some examples:
SimCity2000, SimCopter, Streets of SimCity, TWPGA2000..... and and and, almost everything.
It allows you two vital things for Streets and Copter, to emulate the proper DX version for the games and to limit the framerate to 30fps that the games will run without any error message (mostly). It offers you another cool feature, you can enhance the display with a very good bilinear filter which makes the game appearing like it would have a higher resolution as 640x480. no it's not simply blurred, it's really a cool filter. another possibility is that you can size the window to any aspect if you like that, now for Copter that's a quite nice feature, strech it just a little bit in horizontal, not to full 16:10 something inbetween 16:10 and 4:3 until the armatures will show exact circles. the limiting of the framerate is not only vital to avoid the error messages, it's vital for the physics of these games. Streets is very choosy about that and any other as 30fps or a little less will lead to wrong physics, the steady bumbing or jumping cars some mention and which kept me from playing it for a long time. it's impossible to play it in this way apart from the steady appearing error message (which can have other reasons for Streets, but later more about this issue).
Recently i have no new Clips to show off a running Streets, but you can find some older (2014) on my YT channel.
looks familiar? (i found once this image on a site about Streets, but it's my clip, no i don't mind... erm yes i would have liked if he would have referred to me)
Very unlike others stated, if you run Streets 3DFX mode it's really not bad for it's age, the proper emulated 3DFX will also help you to run it stable (you won't need DXWnd then). I use "DGVoodoo" to emulate it and it's imho the best 3DFX emulator, it doesn't uses OpenGL and uses hardware rendering thus it offers the best possible performance for such an emulation.
(for the recent Win7, Win10, DX11 release)
unfortunately no clips from 3DFX Streets, because DGVoodoo outlasted already my Win7 x64 back then and not to tell about my old WinXP i have to run recently (because of a broken down machine). recently i even can't make good clips from a lo-res software rendered Streets or Copter.
to run Streets in 3DFX mode you need to patch the original release, since this patch is a 16bit installer it has become totally obsolate. Because of that i feel free to link here ++Weeds++ prepatched exe. (ok the game is anyway abandonware now)
To run any win application on a mac there is one good solution and this is "Wine". Wine does really a good job and both Copter and Streets run flawless when you set for them "Win95" as operating system (it runs in fact even better as on windows with the help of DXWnd).
the display isn't as cool as with the help of DXWnd, wine does some filtering but it's more bleeding out and blurred as the filtering of DXWnd.
a cool thing for both Wine and DXWnd, no stress with the 8bit depth (256 color mode) of the games.
another hint for MAC users, to run SC2000 in Wine you have to set the OS to NT 3.15, only this will display the game in halfways good mode with working buttons, but the windows layout will be garbled. however it's playable and runs fine. WinSCURK unfortunately refuses to run proper whatever i tried (you can't select the buildings).
if you have a extremely fast Mac you can try if you can get it to run in 3DFX mode, on my old Macbook i can't, wine breaks down if i use DGVoodoo and if i use the by Wine mentioned "3DFX Wrapper" (an OpenGL renderer) the framerate sucks completely even if you choose the lowest possible shading option, "3DFX Wrapper" didn't even runs good in windows, it can be used for a "Aha, such would have looked the game" but you can't use it for real to play a 3DFX accelerated game.
3DFX part 2
you can use for windows releases from 3DFX labs itself, they are quite good hardware renderers but offer no setup, thus you can't tell "use the games internal framerate" (important to avoid the error message) or lower shader options if needed so, neither you can set the proper color mapping for NVIDIA graphic cards (a cool option of DGVoodoo).
further in DGVoodoo you can force mipmapping which will help to gain performance, but it looks bloody bad and i didn't even need that on my old XP, but Streets isn't the only 3DFX game so there will be probably other games where this could be helpful.
this should help you to get the most out of those two old games, i'm really not lying if i say i rarely see those quite common error messages, i feel it runs even better as on a real win95 with the proper support of either Wine, DXWnd or DGVoodoo.
for now i have to close, it's early in the morning, i will post far more tomorrow (my whole repo) or in two weeks, unfortunately i have no web at home and need to visit my old mother to use her macbook to communicate.
ok a last thing i can link here, before i close my eyes (nah not forever - not yet)
Streets has a "Racing Scenario Editor" hmmm.... "Racing" but it stores and loads the scenarios under "MOVIES". I found that's a shit and a altered the scenario editor to store them in "RACE".
besides this editor only offers a percentage of what would be possible, i never quite understood why EA (or Maxis in this case) handed out only "crippled" editors with disabled functions (in case for the TWPGA course editor i unleashed some features, but why to hell was they blocked anyway? do they thought we are to stupid or what? or did they feared a user could make a better scenario as a dev?).
here's the altered "racing scenario editor":
to the scenarios more later, another reason why i post my stuff here is that i hope to find someone a little cleverer as me who can tell me how to interprete or disassemble the scenario files.
dammit, it would be so cool if i only could add some police cars or stupid messages to the scenarios (eg, "you pass now the famous picayune"). i'm about to find out how it works (i started to make smacker clips for my scenarios already, but well i failed - i will see, it attempts to load my intro anim but it can't display it, so something must be wrong with the format of my file) but i'm far from understanding it well. in fact i did altered the AI cars once (as to see in my clip), but i'm not lying if i say i forgot how i did that and my usual notes i make when i do such hacks have vanished, thus i have to start at 0 again.
see, you can have an intro animation and an intro text, none of the race scenarios uses this, but since the file format for all possible scenarios of Streets is the same the same things can be done for any scenario, i.e. position cops, position crooks, place packs, give bonuses, playback file, and so on.
if i had full control over it i could make for any topic new scenarios, not only could - i would like to, personally i guess i'm a quite good game designer, at least i'm crazy enough, to crazy for some i found out in the hard way.
one last word, one dude started MisCopter it seems to be a OSX rewriting of the engine, i contacted the dev once because it looks like he cancelled the developing, unfortunately he didn't answered to my request (damned i would love to make the models for it).
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