This entry will not be an update of any particular area of my region but rather It'll be about my BAT project. To follow future developments in the project place check out the ToS project BAT thread or the progress report update.
I've always had an interest in skyscrapers from the time I was little. It's the reason why I was originally drawn to the city simulation genre in the first place. I'm sure many of you can say the same. However I differ from the norm in that I also have an interest in other tall non-highrise structures.
Be it a skyscraper, observation tower or even a smoke smokestack, I appreciate tall structures all the same. The reasons for this is because of where I'm from. While we do have a pretty decent skyline here in TO, undoubtedly the single most impressive part of the skyline is our observation tower. For those not familiar with it, the CN Tower, with a height of 1,815ft / 553.33m, was the tallest freestanding structure in the world for over 30 years(from 1976 to 2007).
CN tower under construction
Only the Empire State Building has reigned over a height title(post industrial era) for a longer period of time. Needless to say it's something we're quite proud of, much in the same way as a skyscraper aficionado's from New York or Chicago(or elsewhere) are proud of their distinctive skyscrapers and record holders. I would not have been any more impressed with the structure if it were a buildings instead. If not for the fact it already came with the game, I certainly would of tried batting this landmark.
Another thing that influenced my perception was the neighborhood where I grew up in. There was a very large plant nearby with a tall smokestack. That chimney was easily the most distinctive landmark in my community. It was a beacon that literally helped me find my way home a number of times. Once when I was little and got lost and then on a number of occasions later on when I was in a drunken stupor...
The 'ol stack and nothing else
So in contrasts to most people's opinions about those smokestacks, I was thankful for their existence. That in a nutshell is why I can look fondly at these structures. Smokestacks were indeed the first custom BAT's I made(and subsequently released on the exchange) more than 10 years ago. It also helped of course that they are relatively simple to make.
I tried my hand at batting buildings & a tower or two soon after with a few decent results
But there was one problem I could never solve no matter what fix I tried. I could never get the damn night lights to work. After much frustration I abandon creating building altogether. It was after this that I discover my niche. For there was another type of tall structure that I've always though was pretty cool looking as well. Add to that, I've also had an interest in steel frame structures, such as cantilever & steel arch bridges. For those who follow the CJ, I'm sure its readily apparent what type of structure I'm referring to. So what do you get when you combine the two? The lattice tower. These structures are know by a few other terms as; truss towers, freestanding framework towers or more simply radio/tv towers.
My fascination with them has only increased after I started batting them, because its something I turned out to be pretty good at. And aside from several concrete observation towers and a small number of smokestacks, guyed and self supporting towers, there is surprisingly little of any other type of tall non-highrise structures on the ST exchange compared to the number of highrises out there.
So its high time I took the proverbial cat out of the bag and revealed this secret little project of mine, which I've been working on(and off) for the last 3 years.
Several of these towers have already been seen on the CJ;
The BellCan & Russian tower have relatively simple superstructures
And while the Mount Royal tower is more detailed, it's too short to really be a significant landmark. Serves as more of a 'filler' tower.
But what's been shown so far is really just the tip of the iceberg. The entire scope of the project comprises more than two dozen lattice towers from all over the world and a few custom designs. Many of which are very prominent landmarks in their respective cites. Imo some of these are amongst the coolest looking/most interesting structures on Earth.
So without further ado,
ToS Project list
A Royal Tower[Canada] (released - Mount Royal)
BellCan[Canada] (released - Bell Canada)
Cyberpunk Tower[Japan] (in progress)
Fatal Attraction [uS]
Horizontal Lines Tower[uS] (completed)
Russian Style[Russia] (released - Murmansk)
Simple Truss[Canada] (completed)
Supertall Spire[uS] (completed)
The Angel[spain] (in progress)
The Crystal[uK] (in progress)
The Diamond[uS] (in progress)
The Endless White[uS] (finishing touches)
The Eye[custom] (completed)
The Needle[uS] (completed)
The Octagon[Russia] (completed)
The Pyramid of Steel[uS] (finishing touches)
The Ski Tower[Europe]
The Square[brazil] (in progress)
The Star[uS] (finishing touches)
The Trident[Asia] (in progress)
The Ultimate Pylon[Asia]
X Tower [custom] (completed)
These are not the actual names of the towers, but rather project/code names. It's just easier for me to keep track of them this way. Most towers are known by their radio/tv station initials, with a few exceptions.
On another note, I would of loved to transferred these into Cities Skylines. Heck I might have even persuaded to stop playing SC4 if possible. Unfortunately they're too detailed, some of them have more than 100,000 polygons/triangles and from what I understand, anything above 10k will some serious lag and/or crash issues in skylines.
Most images are gmax screen pics. It's obviously not an angle you'd see in SC4, but the idea is just to relay the detail of each superstructure. There will be a few render preview pics of portions of the towers at the end. But I won't be showing actual in game shots until I get to them in the CJ. I mean, you can't expect me to completely reveal 3 years worth of work in just a one single entry can you?
Birds eye views
Many of these are still a work in progress, their current appearance may not necessarily represent actual in game textures.
original teaser shots
That tower was about 600ft/185m high, some of these are almost twice as tall.
From the bottom up
From the inside out
And of course a sneak preview of what you want to see the most,
SC4 gmax (partial)render shots
In the shadows of giants
Needless to say, nothing else I do in SC4, or with any game for that matter, will ever top this project(for me - in terms of effort and contribution to the community).
So which of these towers would you like to see next? And think you can you identify any of them with their real world counterparts? If so, I'll consider releasing them before I get to them in the CJ provided they're completed of course.