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Hamish

A Trixies Interview with Takingyouthere

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Another very nice interview!

I admit I'm surprised with you choosing Solar das Paineiras as one of your favourite files, and, of course, I'm glad one of the most talented CJers like my work. Thanks for that, and I hope we can see more content from you this year - including a lot of towers of steel :) 

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Another well done interview!

Industry is mainly what compelled me to lot and BAT for SC4 thus the reason most of my lots are industry related.

@Takingyouthere CJ's are always heavy with industries (pun intended)and he always lays out the lots in a logical manner for maximum efficiency and visual impact.

I also must agree with @Takingyouthere regarding my

It definitively is my favorite creation so far.

Thank you for mentioning me and thank you @Hamish for the great interview!

Simmer2/Nick

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A real great art to get everything in proportion. More or less, still we handel the creative process in our own fashion, with our expertise level and interest. Our commity link provides us with a allmost unlimited source of support and inspiration !

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      You're welcome--and thanks to the ST staff for reviving this great community event!
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      But being able to mod, what's more important is usually the models themselves. I can always customise anything I find to work as desired. I probably don't do as much downloading/installing of mods as you might think. I'm running a tight ship where my plugins folder is concerned. Occasionally, I enjoy playing regions without worrying too much about custom content too. It's a little freeing to not have to try and find the perfect buildings all the time. Which is the very problem that keeps me modding, rather than playing. But I hope one day I'll get past this and be able to enjoy the game more. I'm in no rush, there is nothing out there that can come close to the longevity and flexibility SC4 offers.
       
      You've made some pretty amazing mods, most recently ones which unify ground texture under NAM pieces. What inspires you to create these mods? 
      When I first started getting into modding, I really disliked the Maxis Sidewalks. They probably fit the San Francisco theme of the game, but were not for me. So I installed a sidewalk mod, but hated the contrast between a custom sidewalk and the Maxis ones. They just stand out, there is no way to hide them or make them work together.
      A similar thing happened when I started using HD Terrain mods. Gobias' excellent Berner Oberland terrain came with the grass-equivalent of a sidewalk mod. But whilst I really liked what it did, I intensely disliked the mis-match of textures it left behind.
      In both areas, I've been working to unify together a complete set of Sidewalk and Grass textures, which are the main component of both my SEN (SWN) and TGN mods.
       
      How much work goes into something like this which, on the surface, seems so simple? 
      Simply put a hideous amount. I don't exactly make things easy for myself either. I think part of my philosophy of trying to give back where I can, does add to the development process. I don't simply make these mods thinking about my game only. I try to make something that can be reused and is as flexible as possible. I'm also very picky, I spend a lot of time trying to ensure I've not missed a single texture and testing everything until I'm satisfied there are no problems or missing pieces. Of course, there is always something else to add, not to mention updates to cover new releases along the way. It's probably very easy to miss just how comprehensive both mods are, no similar mod even gets close to the level of coverage I've achieved.
      From the beginning, I made huge efforts to automate as much as possible. But due to the ever-improving tools I helped develop with @rivit (GoFSH), I must have restarted this process 2 or 3 times over now. I simply can not go on without mentioning both @memo and @rivit in respect of TGN. Without Memo's tool I originally used to make v1, TGN simply would never have existed. Likewise, 6 months of intensive development work together with Rivit has transformed the possibilities on offer. He was always the brains behind how to do most things. But provided assistance countless times and was very open to feedback on new features and changes. In fact, that's still evolving, so keep an eye out for the next iteration, I'm genuinely excited by what we're cooking up behind the scenes.
      All told, it probably runs into hundreds, if not thousands of hours, not that I've been keeping a record. But I'm slowly getting to the point where I can sit back and simply maintain the repositories that make these mods happen, the bulk of the work is almost complete. When I get there, that will be a very good day. But the real goal here, is that hopefully my work will have solved the issue of mis-matching textures for everyone.
       
      It's not all about textures...
      If you'll indulge me with a little self-promotion however, I would briefly like to talk about my non-texture work. I keep saying I'm done with texturing, because that's really only a small part of what I'm doing, even if it's probably the most well known.
      I started learning how to make models in 2015, with my first release being some simple pedestrian bridges. But I'm really very proud of both my Rail Depot and Convenience Store models. Both of which took a very long time to complete, partially because I'm very picky, but also because I'm still learning how to make textures.
      I also managed to make a small but significant addon for CALs re-mastered SG Canals. Matching up the textures took an extraordinary effort, to the point of finding archaic versions of 3DS Max/BAT4Max to match the textures. But the simple eight additional pieces that produced have brought about a renascence for me and using canals. Being stuck to the grid in 2016 is really a turn off for me, so that was another creation I feel really satisfied with.
       
      2015:
      2016:
       
      You've also made some great additions to the NAM, what's it like working with this team? 
      Mostly until now I've been helping by contributing fixes/patches and helping out with support for users. I also try where possible to assist my team-mates, adding EU and LHD compatibility.
      Having access to certain information that would otherwise be off limits sure is useful. Alex's ( @Tarkus) long term commitment to all things SC4, unwavering patience and complete understanding of the underpinnings of the game, makes him a great ambassador. Working alongside him and the other team members is a real privilege. Not to mention the countless ways that being part of the team has allowed me to improve my modding skills.
      I was very pleased to bring the MHO refresh as part of NAM35, that really felt like my first solid contribution to the mod. It's another of those very long projects I seem to find myself taking on.
      My next goal is bringing everyone a completely new SAMmod for NAM36, the IndustrieSAM network. This is already mostly finished, but will represent a major contribution in terms of code for the first time. It's another accomplishment that I couldn't have realised, without the selfless help of my team mates.
       

      While the NAM Team is probably the biggest team of content creators, are there any other teams which you follow which you must download any creation they put out? 
      Sadly there aren't so many active teams these days, so you've posed a bit of a tricky one there. If there was one team where I could say I'd grab every release without hesitation, that would have to be the VIP team. Although these days, that tends to be mostly the work of @Girafe. I'm a sucker for high-quality HD content and the VIP team made some of the best props/models out there. Girafe's flora is always a welcome addition and I use it whenever my lots/mods need some greenery.
       
      Outside of this genre, Transit mods, what is a work you have been very impressed with which is thematically at opposite ends to your style? 
      Whilst it's not really the sort of thing I have much use for, I'd have to single out the excellent quality ChryslerBuilding by @Reddonquixote here.
      http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=3326
       
      Seeing the development and the final renders, just felt like a new bar had been set for the quality of SC4 buildings. From the gorgeous metallic effect on the spire, to the unbelievable nightlighting and supremely detailed facade, it just oozes quality through and through. Yet, I don't think I've ever plopped it in game, I should rectify that. 
       
      What would be the most substantial project that has left a meaningful impression on you from the past two years? Why is that? 
      Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference. @ILL Tonkso created so many models, for anyone wanting to make UK cities, it's a real treasure trove of must have content. Not all of it has stood the test of time so well, but @kingofsimcity's re-lots have utterly transformed many of these models. Giving them the sort of environment (lot) that finally does justice to them. Add to that his work on the parking textures and smart use of modular complexes and you end up with some hugely visually appealing content.
      For example, using just one of those buildings, a fairly generic office, KOSC lotted a huge number of variations. This makes these lots really usable without ever feeling too repetitive.
       
      Link to KOSC's content...
      http://community.simtropolis.com/profile/33566-kingofsimcity/?do=content&type=downloads_file&change_section=1
      If asked to pick a couple other specific lots, I guess these would be my favourites (all from 2015):
       
       
       
      Tell us one of your favourite pieces from the STEX in 2015 and 2016 and explain what it is about and why this is your favourite piece? 
       
      2015
      In 2015, whilst perhaps not an obvious choice, it would have to be @simmaster07's SC4Fix.dll for me. As someone with a good technical knowledge, seeing this bug squashed was really quite astonishing, it was one of those things thought of as impossible. Then out of nowhere, along comes this fix, which personally has made playing SC4 so much better. I can't tell you how many times I fell foul to the CTD, being a big user of much NAM content. On many occasions, I lost a lot of work too. But since this was released, my game simply never crashes and is totally stable. As such, this was my favourite mod from 2015.
       
      2016
      For 2016, I wasn't able to decide on one clear winner, both of these little gems not only conform to my UK theme, but are of outstanding quality too.
      First is @Bombardiere's Clerkenwell Close buildings. Quintessentially British, with superb texturing and modded to be very flexible, it ticks all my boxes for a great download. 
       
      Partially it's my love of the golden age of Steam Trains, but also partially because it's the Flying Scotsman (do I need explain that?).
       
      Both of these great mods, whilst being of a more historical nature, are completely usable in a modern environment too. I am simply unable to choose between them, sorry.
       
      Simtropolis is organized into ‘player' and ‘builder' categories. Regarding the ‘player' section, do you have any favourite CJers that you enjoy following? And what piece of content from them in the past two years would you recommend to others? 
      I must be honest and confess I don't really get into the CJ section as much as I perhaps should. I do try to follow a number of CJs however and have been impressed with the work of @Dreadnought's Jade Bight series. His attention to detail is up there with the best of them.
       
      @Ln X(my SC4 Scrapbook), @Belfastsocrates (The Viceroyalty of Perseus) and @_Michael (Mikenstein) are three other CJs I always enjoy seeing updates for. Mainly because I feel they all have a coherent style that inspires me to create things for my own game.
       
       
      Who is an up-and-coming member that we should look out for next year? 
      Although releasing models since early 2016, I will be keeping an eye out for more models from @Aarsgevogelte. In a short space of time, the quality of his releases have improved greatly, along with a frequent supply of new buildings. Most of them fit well in all European environments too.
       
      Lastly,     What has been one of your favourite Simtropolis moments? 
      Now you've really got me thinking, I see why you left that one for last... Since there isn't a single instance that comes to mind, I think I'll have to wriggle out of it with a more general answer. Being part of Simtropolis is in and of itself a wonderful experience. I enjoy trying to help others, but have too received my share of assistance. It's a real community that has been instrumental to keeping a game I genuinely love alive all these years. Once more it's a privilege to be a part of something like ST, a place where anyone can come and join in our passion for SC4 and city building.
       
       
      Thank you for joining us today RSC204, here's to a great Trixies 
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