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Voice your opinion on the progress for earthwork tutorials  

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  1. 1. Which earthworks tutorial series should Dragonxander make after the fundamentals?

    • Major transportation projects and urban renewal!!
    • Mountain Madness!!
    • Coastal Challenge!!
    • Help me decide the best slope mode for me
    • Other (please specify in thread)

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  • Poll closes on 10/01/2018 at 07:00 AM

6 posts in this topic Last Reply

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Greetings to all fellow mayors and Simtropolitan citizens!


I want to present you a series of tutorials revolving around a very immersing part of the game: earthworks!

Why? Because it's a very fundamental aspect of any construction in real life and can add aesthetic and functional depth to your cities.  I came up with a series of tutorials I'll be developing for this purpose, ranging from the most fundamental aspects to highly demanding applications of in-game earthmoving to shape the destiny of your city.

Perhaps the biggest gain players can get from mastering earthworks is making rugged terrain regions all that much more enjoyable. It may be tempting to always go with a very flat region to make building easy, but that approach makes players miss the opportunity of a challenging terrain resulting in a thrilling and wonderful landscape. I'll be making these based on my main ongoing region, the Sinnoh Region, as the one fundamental geographic element that defines it are its mountains.


One favor I ask followers of this series is to avoid posting on the tutorial threads until they have been constructed. Their completion will be announced here and in the meantime, the corresponding comments can be made here.

Finally, before we start, I would like everyone's feedback on which category should I tackle next after completing the fundamentals tutorial.



  • Network Addon Mod, latest version (currently the 36, versions 34 and 35 will still be adequate). In particular, make sure to have the NAM hole digging lots, these are super important to do a lot of the required steps I'll be showing.



  • Slope mode of your choice (in my case, the BRF Tunnel and Slope Mod). I recommend this one in particular because it's one of the most strict slope mods available for SimCity 4. I currently use an older version which still did not include a dedicated Real Highway (RHW) slope, but that isn't a problem for me as you'll all learn during the tutorials.


  • Region with hilly, rolling and/or mountainous terrain--anything that isn't a super flat expanse of nothingness will do.


  • God Terraforming in Mayor Mode (or if not your thing, use the cheat to activate God mode terraforming tools in Mayor Mode



T U T O R I A L   S E R I E S :


  1. Starting a town (Emeragrove): now available!
  2. Main local road (Emeragrove): screenshots available, pending writing
  3. Bridge across river (Emeragrove): upcoming
  4. Power lines (Emeragrove): upcoming



  1. Rural Freeway Segment (Route 203)
  2. Rural Freeway Interchanges (Route 203)
  3. River Diversion (Jubilife)
  4. Urban Freeway Retrofit (Jubilife)
  5. Median Mass Transit (Jubilife)
  6. Suburban Freeway Retrofit (Route 204)



  1.  Difficult mountain crossing (Oreburgh-Pal Park)
  2. Mountain Railway (Oreburgh-Pal Park)
  3. Dam and reservoir (Pal Park)
  4. Mine expansion (Oreburgh)
  5. Tunnels across mountains (Route 216)



  1. Seaport (Jubilife Port)
  2. Power Plant (Jubilife Port)
  3. Beaches (Hotel Grand Lake)
  4. City straddling the sea (Sunyshore)
  5. Building a linear breakwater (Seabreak Path)
  6. Building an island (Flower Paradise)
  7. Underwater tunnels (Jubilife)

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12 minutes ago, Dragonxander said:

One favor I ask followers of this series is to avoid posting on the tutorial threads until they have been constructed. Their completion will be announced here and in the meantime, the corresponding comments can be made here.

I take it you plan to write each tutorial in its own thread (which I believe it the best way).

So, if you post in BIG Type at the top of them that you'd prefer no comments while you are writing them and add a linky to this thread for said comments that'll prolly be enough. You'd edit out that part when it's finished. (And should anyone add a comment before you are ready we staff can just chop it off and tack it on to this thread.)

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This sounds like a really great prospective series to help with explaining a range of terrain-based concepts. *:)

Just adding to what @CorinaMarie said above, should you wish inside each new tutorial as submitted, you're welcome to create a few additional back-to-back posts. These can be used as placeholders should you ever need extra info to be added in sequence. Should this be of benefit, feel free to reply as many times as needed, and just make it known they're to be held back in reserve. Then a staff member or yourself can hide them so they'd be publicly invisible (in the "Options" menu). From this point you won't see them shown in the thread since hidden posts are only visible to staff. So whenever you'd like them to be restored, simply let us know in here or via PM.

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  • Similar Content

    • By Dragonxander
      Welcome everyone! Today I want to present the second entry of my earthworks tutorial series! Today we're covering the basics of building a main, two-lane road into a town across rolling/undulating terrain!
      I would appreciate if forum members could give me some feedback on the tutorial entry's format. This time I'm posting a slideshow video, as it was easier to make than wrestling image hosting sites with a huge upload that was gonna have about 70 screenshots.
      For general discussions and polls on this tutorial series, visit:
      Mods featured:
      * Network Addon Mod 36:
      * BRF Tunnel and Slope Mod:
      * CPT Meadowshire Terrain Mod: 
      * CPT Meadowshire Coast Tree Mod: 
      * B98 Beach Extend Mod:
      * RVT Coast Mod 2009:
    • By Dragonxander
      The very first post of this tutorial series!!
      Earthwork Fundamentals 1: Starting a Town
      Welcome to Emeragrove!!
      Population: 0 Infrastructure: just a neighbor connection Trees: 0 Citizen complaints: 0 ...Huh....not a whole lot of action in here. Maybe we can change that!
      Our blank slate: a large city tile with a river running along the western side and rolling terrain on almost all of its land area. We will settle next to the head of navigation of the small river, highlighted by the saddle shape in red.

      We want to investigate the terrain characteristics in the area, we start by activating the “terrainquery” cheat (Ctrl+X, then write "terrainquery"). This allows us to obtain the tridimensional coordinates for any point within the city tile.

      We find that, towards the northwest of our view, the terrain’s elevation (y = 258.9 meters above SimCity level) is a meager 8.9 meters above the game’s sea level (250.0 meters).

      Moving towards the southeast, we find a slightly more elevated position, at 260.8 meters above SimCity level. We secure this elevation by plopping road tiles to form a flat surface we want to propagate via cut and fill. This matters because if the starting terrain is too low, the slope cannot be demonstrated effectively and Sims are at risk of losing everything to a river flood within the floodplain area.

      We then continue placing single road squares in a checkerboard pattern and emphasizing the boundaries of the terrain we intend to level off. One convenient way to do this is to plop a sufficiently long stretch of road squares along which we’ll be dragging the roads proper to level additional terrain along the stretch of squares.

      We keep dragging roads until covering an area sufficiently large to host our town’s historic center.

      Now, we zoom in towards an edge of the flattened terrain. As you can notice, the slope between the leveled terrain and the floodplain may be too steep for comfort or even safety (landslide risks, perhaps?).

      We can now fix that by dragging short stubs of road, starting at the flattened area’s edge. These stubs should be one square shorter than the distance needed to directly touch the floodplain.

      We continue this operation until we have the particular edge covered.

      Then we begin doing the same along the diagonal edge. Notice how the stub is dragged from the protruding corner of the tile.

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