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MarkShot

The world is not flat!!!

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I have beeen watching on YouTube the 100 part series:

SimCity 4- Building A City From Scratch (Let's Play)  by haljackey

to see what I could learn.

This is it:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3Yl0lRNSH1j2uClwY-RLuKD2Bee8Cd1N

I have finished 4 of 100.  He is doing as I would expect creating some of the  road/rail infrastructure prior to letting the clock run.  (pretty much using infinite money).

He is doing what I do not know how to do; make things level.  He is doing this mainly because it looks really good.  I am, in fact, playing this game in part due to the aesthetic appeal.  I am watching all that he is doing, but I either don't understand or cannot duplicate.  I will describe just a few of my problems.

(1)  He is using the NAM Bullet Train Tracks to create level elevated embankments for RHW/NAM roads.  By laying them and then deleting them.  I did run the NAM installer again and add the Bullet Train, but I cannot find what he is using.

(2)  He is using what looks like a single tile Maxis road to level out minor slope issues.  This I think I got, but it often seems that as I keep doing this, it ultimately creates an earth wave which cannot be leveled.

(3)  He is using what looks like a one tile ploppable parking lot to bring the sides of the embankments in #1, back down to base level.  This generally makes the embankments not much wider than the road/rail which sits upon it.  I don't know where he has gotten this ploppable or tool.

(4)  He is using a road.  I don't think it is the MAXIS road, since it shows two rounded nubs at the ends as a measuring tool to count grid units.  What is he using?  Where is this thing?

(5)  He is using roads (it doesn't look like MAXIS) again as quick way to accomplish almost the same task as #3.  #3 is more precise, but this is broad strokes and quicker.  What NAM draggable roads is he using for this?  And from where?

(6)  He is using either the Mayor mode or Mayor/God mode terraforming quick level tool to handle some macro work.  I have tried it myself.  It works as advertised, but besides leveling it seems to put the leveled area into a depression.  How do I avoid my highways being sunken with the quick level tool?

(7)  He is using some draggable NAM road laying to turn sharp grades into gentle grades.  What road is he using?  And where can I find it?

As you can see, I need help badly.  If there are NAM tutorials, you could say I need pre-NAM schooling, since I am not even ready to lay down a network.

Below is an example of how my stuff looks ... and I wanted to do better.  Mine looks like Roller Coaster Tycoon meets SimCity!

H E L P    P L E A S E    !!!!!!!!!!!!         Thanks!

 

17-03-13 16-05-04 RCT1.jpg

17-03-13 16-05-20 RCT2.jpg

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  • Original Poster
  • I did find some tips on how to use the quick level tool.  It works relatively well on the straights with no elevations changes.  Not so well on turns with elevation changes trying to use the smoothing tool.

    17-03-13 17-09-30 sc1.jpg

    17-03-13 17-10-08 sc2.jpg

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    I'm unable to answer all of your questions, but I'll tell you what I do know.

    1 hour ago, MarkShot said:

    (1)  He is using the NAM Bullet Train Tracks to create level elevated embankments for RHW/NAM roads.  By laying them and then deleting them.  I did run the NAM installer again and add the Bullet Train, but I cannot find what he is using.

    (2)  He is using what looks like a single tile Maxis road to level out minor slope issues.  This I think I got, but it often seems that as I keep doing this, it ultimately creates an earth wave which cannot be leveled.

    (5)  He is using roads (it doesn't look like MAXIS) again as quick way to accomplish almost the same task as #3.  #3 is more precise, but this is broad strokes and quicker.  What NAM draggable roads is he using for this?  And from where?

    (7)  He is using some draggable NAM road laying to turn sharp grades into gentle grades.  What road is he using?  And where can I find it?

    For these, he's using what is known as a "slope mod". If you search around the STEX, you'll find one that suits your needs. Be sure to read any descriptions and readmes you come across.

    1 hour ago, MarkShot said:

    (4)  He is using a road.  I don't think it is the MAXIS road, since it shows two rounded nubs at the ends as a measuring tool to count grid units.  What is he using?  Where is this thing?

    Those are the Maxis roads, but with cul-de-sacs enabled (available from the NAM installer, somewhere under custom installation).

    1 hour ago, MarkShot said:

    (3)  He is using what looks like a one tile ploppable parking lot to bring the sides of the embankments in #1, back down to base level.  This generally makes the embankments not much wider than the road/rail which sits upon it.  I don't know where he has gotten this ploppable or tool.

    That sounds like a hole digger lot. Some are available in the NAM, under the roads menu, but there are also some available on the STEX.

    1 hour ago, MarkShot said:

    #3 is more precise, but this is broad strokes and quicker.  What NAM draggable roads is he using for this?  And from where?

    I'll need to watch the video(s) in question to be sure, but those could be the RHW.

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    45 minutes ago, Jolteon said:

    For these, he's using what is known as a "slope mod". If you search ...

    I believe the two most popular ones are NHP Ennedi Slope Mod (v1.0) and 250458 and BRF Tunnel and Slope Mod 0.1. I personally use Ennedi's and then I tweaked it in Reader so the Avenue has the same slope as Road. I did this because I like to be able to upgrade Roads to Avenues as my city grows rather than pre-planning it all from the beginning. That one is hosted on the LEX and does require a separate login.

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  • Original Poster
  • I am playing around with haljackey's Bullet Train Slope Mod which is the one from his video; at the moment.  Seeing what I can do.  I will look at the others.

    Thanks!

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  • Original Poster
  • Corina,

    Thank you.  I think that is the one, I will be using.

    ---

    Now, the only feature I am missing from the YouTube series is a lot raiser or digger which involves no roads.  That does not seem to in NAM.

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  • Original Poster
  • Two things.  Auto-destruct was checked.  But I don't see the behavior of just clicking and the elevation changes.  I only find one set of risers and diggers.

    It doesn't seem to follow the documentation.  After dragging a road across it gradually returns to the base level.

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    18 minutes ago, MarkShot said:

    After dragging a road across it gradually returns to the base level.

    That will likely be your slope mod in action. The height that you want is the centre tile that you placed your digger/raiser lot on and then you just destruct it, then click around to get your desired height wherever you want it. 

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    Hi there @MarkShot,

    I hope you are enjoying the series!

    If you have any questions regarding it, let me know and I can get back to you.

    -If possible. please provide a timestamp from the video, helps a lot! (Ex. at 11:34 in, X occurred)

     

    I should be able to answer any remaining unanswered questions posed here in detail later on today. Thanks to everyone else for helping out!

     

     

     

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    Auto destruct raisers/diggers are located in the road menu, under a single icon. You will need to use the tab key to cycle through the other height options available.

    They are a special network piece which self destructs upon placement. Be careful, because if you have other networks nearby they may also be destroyed, so they are best used away from any potentially complex or finicky setups. 

    8 hours ago, MarkShot said:

    (3)  He is using what looks like a one tile ploppable parking lot to bring the sides of the embankments in #1, back down to base level.  This generally makes the embankments not much wider than the road/rail which sits upon it.  I don't know where he has gotten this ploppable or tool.

    This is simply a reskin of single road tiles. It's just what @Haljackey's road tiles look like when he doesn't connect them up. I think the mod in question that does this is still available, but I can't remember who made it (LBT?). A quick STEX search will serve you well here, but functionally these have zero benefit and are strictly cosmetic. It's just single road tiles plopped next to each other to produce the leveling that is caused by the game's treatment of intersections as necessarily level (auto-flattening).

     

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    6 hours ago, MarkShot said:

    Corina,

    Thank you.  I think that is the one, I will be using.

    ---

    Now, the only feature I am missing from the YouTube series is a lot raiser or digger which involves no roads.  That does not seem to in NAM.

    I highly recommend watching this entire series of tutorials on YouTube from @rsc204 that answer a lot of questions and issues you are experiencing in the NAM from using slope mods to wide radius curves to leveling areas to laying out road and street networks.  It's a wealth of information from one of the top NAM gurus and it's extremely well done and easy to follow.  Made all the difference in the world to my game when I first started using the NAM.  And definitely garner any and all help and advice you can pick up from @Haljackey as his work with the RHW and various network interchanges is quite extensive.  You've already watched some of his awesome series on YT but, do yourself a favor and watch these tutorials as well.

    Great info on slope mods here along with very helpful hints and tips to making un-level areas work:

     

    And invaluable info on other things NAM related in this series:

     

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    20 hours ago, MarkShot said:

    (3)  He is using what looks like a one tile ploppable parking lot to bring the sides of the embankments in #1, back down to base level.  This generally makes the embankments not much wider than the road/rail which sits upon it.  I don't know where he has gotten this ploppable or tool.

     
     
     
    11 hours ago, APSMS said:

    I think the mod in question that does this is still available, but I can't remember who made it (LBT?)

    Just popping in to say that this is what yall are looking for.

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  • Original Poster
  • I did find the ploppable raisers and diggers in the NAM menu.

    Wonderful stuff.  Further I saw in conjunction with the extended cheat terrain editing how this can be used to rapid create some precise depressions or mounds.

    ---

    Want to hear a joke?  I got started with this city building stuff because I felt like playing something with no win/lose conditions.  And would not have much of a learning curve like some other genres.  The learning curve on even stock SC4DLX is substantial.  Then, throw in mods like NAM and their application ... wow, I might just go back to war/strategy games and consider them unchallenging!  :)

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    5 hours ago, MarkShot said:

    Want to hear a joke?  I got started with this city building stuff because I felt like playing something with no win/lose conditions.  And would not have much of a learning curve like some other genres.

    There is a learning curve with everything. You know, I played SC4 for years without any mods, and one day thought to myself, "The friend I got this game from once told me you could add stuff to the game made by other people. I wonder if you can still do that, and where I would find such things."

     

    Little did I know....

     

    Of course, actually failing, where the game forces you out of a city because of debt and atrocious mayor rating (actually, mayor ratings don't matter--they can cause riots, but I think that's about it), is pretty hard, and although I often cheated in my games, I don't think I was ever in serious danger of being told to go run for Senate.

    The issue comes about because there aren't any non-personal win conditions for SC4. This makes it hard because there is no one way to do something right. At least in wargames, there are optimal strategies that can be sorted out and followed regularly with consistent degrees of success. Wargame: RD is a fun game I like, because it generally favors RL tactics (aside from the cheese inherent in any RTS game with lots of units). Another is the flash game Mud n Blood 2 (WWII setting), mostly because the point of the game is to lose (kind of), so you never feel too bad about it. But these have strategies, and rules, that promote specific types of gameplay, and restrict or discourage other types. This, imo, is actually comforting, and makes the game easier, because these things can be learned and taught, and they are specific.

    SC4 (no need to add Deluxe; SC4D will get people think you're talking about the other English-speaking SC4 fansite) has no rules. There are no real right or wrong answers. Fire coverage isn't required. Police and schools and hospitals aren't either. Some people don't even run the simulation: the game is left entirely on pause, the whole of the city is recreated in the Lot Editor and then meticulously plopped in the game, and none of it works at all. But there's the rub: how can we teach you the right way to play, if there isn't one? We're stuck teaching you our way, which you may or may not appreciate, and which you need to determine for yourself what you want to follow.

    For instance, I tend to make cities that are more Tarkusian in style, rather than Haljackeyian, but everyone points you to his videos because they exist, and Tarkus' do not. Yet Hal makes very good cities, even if they aren't my cup of tea, and no one can deny the ease with which he makes them and lays out his highways, again perhaps in a style that is not mine, yet is good and valid all the same.

     

    It is a good way to de-stress, sometimes, because the other kinds of games often promote adrenaline and suspense, and SC4 is very laid back; I think the best way to approach it is to not be too overly concerned about appearance. I stayed away from the game for a while because I couldn't get my cities to look the way I wanted to; I'm simply not that kind of player. But when you realize that the point is to make something and enjoy it's creation, I think that is the beauty of the game. It's also probably why Will Wright enjoyed making the maps in his helicopter game more than actually playing the game, and probably also speaks to the large amount of enthusiasm, as well as the size, of successively newer NAM releases. Making stuff is fun, more so when you can easily control and shape the creation (RCI can be notoriously finicky sometimes when you are looking for something specific).

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    1 hour ago, APSMS said:

    For instance, I tend to make cities that are more Tarkusian in style, rather than Haljackeyian

    Both those adjectives are fantastic. Like when people talk about Greek Philosophy..

    "Are you an Aristotelian?, I'm more of an Epicurian myself"

    "The Haljackeyian view on metaphysics disgusts me, but his interchanges sure are dandy"

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    On 14/03/2017 at 5:57 AM, nos.17 said:

    Just popping in to say that this is what yall are looking for.

    Bear in mind, the mod is not needed to plop tiles, it just alters how they look when you do.

    On 13/03/2017 at 8:48 PM, MeMyself&I said:

    I highly recommend watching this entire series of tutorials on YouTube from @rsc204 that answer a lot of questions and issues you are experiencing in the NAM from using slope mods to wide radius curves to leveling areas to laying out road and street networks.

    Indeed. Bear in mind, HalJackey's series, which I have watched all the way through, is not so much a tutorial. That said, I picked up many useful hints and tips from watching.

    Here is more useful information on Slope Mods:

    You probably won't find many people around these parts not trying to convince you to keep playing SC4. I can totally understand why this may be the case, it's a fantastic game with so much potential. But, if you think you can start playing and be making cities that match some of the best out there right away, I'm sorry that won't likely happen.

    So I played for about a year casually without mods, just getting to grips with the simulation and working out the game. Then I started with the NAM and a handful of mods. At first this was a bit gruelling, there is so much to take in at once. If you'd have been here 13-14 years ago, you could have taken things as they came, there was a slow moving learning curve. But jumping in today, there is a lot of catching up to do.

    But the fundamentals haven't changed, it's just the modding side that's so open ended. Persevere and you will be rewarded by the amount of effort you put in. But nothing is stopping you from playing more casually and not trying to do everything at once. At the end of the day, if you aren't enjoying your time with SC4, why force it? It's not for everyone after all. But, if you take a step back and give yourself some time to become more familiar with things, you'll be making better cities and feeling less bewildered in no time.

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    4 hours ago, MissVanleider said:

    Both those adjectives are fantastic. Like when people talk about Greek Philosophy..

    "Are you an Aristotelian?, I'm more of an Epicurian myself"

    "The Haljackeyian view on metaphysics disgusts me, but his interchanges sure are dandy"

    I'm just getting out of an Ethics class and enjoyed this thing so much :rofl: 

    Maybe we could offtopic this trying to define an exhaustive and excluyent list of all SC4 city styles by its most notorious player (or better to do that on its corresponding new thread, says me the moderator). For my part, I feel my cities are very Tyberian (for @Tyberius06), or maybe somehow Eggmanist, but I've lately developing a F3csian approach to mass transportation.

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  • Original Poster
  • I am watching the Haljackeyian video series even though it is not a tutorial.

    I have been expert in author of guides in a number of games.  Mainly before the age of easy to capture video and YouTube.

    Even in games that have clear win/loss conditions and very well defined win/loss conditions, it is extremely educational to watch how people determine, prioritize, analyze, and strategize solutions ...

    I spent hours last night stepping through various small bits of NAM and experimenting with them.  I must say that I am glad that for the NAM team game mechanics are important; not simply static appearance.  For me, part of the attraction is the game, is the dynamic/interactive nature or I would simply have taken up painting.

    I have seen it debated whether SC4 or CS are simulators or simply games loosely based on a concept.

    I won't get pulled into that.  But I will say that I have learned about some real world planning issues.  Particularly, the lesson that transit/movement is the life blood of cities.  Both of these bring this to light.  Also, I have learned about real world issues due to the games; not because the games are so well modeled.  But interest in a topic like traffic flow often takes you back to real world research and articles.

    So, both are fun games with good AIs.  SC4's UI could be better, but one needs to see it in the context of the period it was created ... as such it is excellent.  Game vs simulation ... I don't know ... but I have learned much about the World.

    Further, at a meta level, both illustrate the power of computers to inexpensively test ideas that would be total project failures in the real world.  Of course, you cannot really prototype with these games, but it is clear to the non-computer scientist it is just a matter modeling diligence to have such tools.  And we are now in a World where computers can do more than just test our ideas, but generate the ideas and cull them.  (BTW, my profession had been management/design of systems.)

    Whether I will play these for a few months or the next 15 years, I can honestly say no time wasted here.

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    By and large, you should learn both the Vanilla mechanics an the NAM at whatever pace brings you the most enjoyment. I always enjoy when discussions about possible playing styles pop up, it's a great chance to see how everyone does things, contrast your own viewpoints and pick up some tips and tricks. That's the beauty of Simtropolis, you can see many possible ways to create and recreate cities, and ultimately, you develop your own playstyle, and your own interests... wall to wall neigborhoods, suburbs, a megalopolis, rural towns, mountain towns, airports, seaports, etcetera... there are examples of them all here in ST, you just take whatever interests you the most for your own unique way of playing this game. :yes:

    9 hours ago, APSMS said:

    I stayed away from the game for a while because I couldn't get my cities to look the way I wanted to; I'm simply not that kind of player. But when you realize that the point is to make something and enjoy it's creation

    I think SC4 would be near perfect if it was possible to make some mod that 'tells' a determined plot of RCI zoning what building to grow, similar to how (to my understanding) the RICO mod for C:S works.

    8 hours ago, MissVanleider said:

    Both those adjectives are fantastic. Like when people talk about Greek Philosophy..

    "Are you an Aristotelian?, I'm more of an Epicurian myself"

    "The Haljackeyian view on metaphysics disgusts me, but his interchanges sure are dandy"

    Hahah! loved this!

    I myself owe much of my RHW technique to the Haljackeyian Interchange Epistemology *:rofl:

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    21 hours ago, APSMS said:

    how can we teach you the right way to play, if there isn't one? We're stuck teaching you our way, which you may or may not appreciate

    In that case, requests for planning advice should be prefaced with one's goal(s). Then one may receive advice from another player who has set the same course.

    My own goal is to build something functional and able to grow to the top stages. Aesthetics are secondary (or maybe tertiary) to me. However, I may have been overly dismissive of aesthetics in the past; where I can achieve a working whatever (RR, port, neighborhood etc), I prefer one that looks elegant to one that is a shambles. Therefore, I tolerate some highway lumpiness in order to be able to place any at all, but I am still refining my slope mod's parameters to minimize said lumps while remaining usable.

    My learning curve, besides the intricacies of some mod's usage, is discovering where SC4 "punishes" realistic design and almost forces idiosyncratic patterns in order to function. For example, when I first started playing (without mods), I blithely laid out grid-like streets and roads that quickly became gridlock traffic from sims who didn't like driving on freeways. I quickly learned about "dendritic" (tree-like) road structure that could force sims onto the game's higher capacity networks. Another example is deliberately designing some dirty residential neighborhoods with no services in order to maintain a supply of low-wage workers for the base of the economy. (As I've written elsewhere, real advanced economies have other options, and I'd love to find ways to model them).

    So whose city style puts function over form? Putting a name to it might help me ask for help in the future.

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    On 14/03/2017 at 9:06 PM, matias93 said:

    I'm just getting out of an Ethics class and enjoyed this thing so much :rofl: 

    Maybe we could offtopic this trying to define an exhaustive and excluyent list of all SC4 city styles by its most notorious player (or better to do that on its corresponding new thread, says me the moderator). For my part, I feel my cities are very Tyberian (for @Tyberius06), or maybe somehow Eggmanist, but I've lately developing a F3csian approach to mass transportation.

    It's an honour to be an inspiration for someone's work. Thank you very much!

    20 hours ago, MissVanleider said:

    I think a Haljackeyian approach would probably serve well. His cities are both extemely dense and functional (i.e for the most part, grown not plopped). His RHW interchanges and other 'network-work' are very impressive. You can tell the cities function because the simulation is running most of the time.

    In my opinion, @Haljackey is pretty much playing the game that maxis sold all those years ago, but with a huge dose of steriods in terms of custom content. I think this is why his is perhaps one of the more accessible styles of city building for someone who has only ever seen vanilla SC4 before.

    This approach is less about worrying about making sure the textures match  in every single tile, everywhere, plopping thousands of single tile 'filler' parks, plazas, car parking etc. As shown in the work of @Ln X or @paeng Cities like these (or my own) are a bit of a middle ground between playing sc4 and using it as a sandbox. The cities do 'work' in a fairly real sense, but a lot of 'cheating' (at least for me) is required to get things to a level which i find satisfying (and often, not ever achieving).

    Finally, you have @korver who is basically just an artist. (I know, i know 'just' an artist. 'Just'). Whilst people are totally wrong if they concentrate on the photoshopping rather than the in game elements - i believe a pretty high (90% + ?) volume of what you see in his style does 'exist' in game, (in the form of custom, imported models that are not publicly available as SC4 lots) but i think it is fair to say that most of it doesn't 'work' in the sense that SC4 understands as the metagame of SC4.

     

    Hopefully i havent offended anyone or misunderstood anyone's play style too much, but i think it boils down to 3 main categories.

    1) Playing SC4 as a game. Working within the structure of the game (i.e. higher density, higher population, higher growth stage regarded as progression), not 'cheating' for infinite money etc.

    2) Allowing SC4 to exist as a game, but 'fighting' with the simulator in order to make something that is both aesthetically pleasing and still broadly functional in game terms.

    3) '3D models are my paint. SC4 is my canvas'

    Of course as others have said, the only real conditions are those set by ourselves. They are ultimately all that matters.

     

     

    Totally agree. I Think my style is the second one, as I plop very much and always keep trying that my city look like a RL thing, but without copying (Well, not so much), and that involves sometimes plopping with lotplop cheat or destroy that blue tall building in your low-rise residential area. It's just a question of style. Find yours and I'm sure that you'll post some beautiful images in the show us topics

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