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Jasoncw

STEX Moderator
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About Jasoncw

  • Rank
    Simtrop Aficionado

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Detroit, US
  • Interests
    SimCity!
  • City-building game(s)
    SimCity 4
    Cities: Skylines
    Banished
    SimCity BuildIt
    SimCity 3000
    SimCity 2000
    SimCity Classic

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  1. SimCity 4 turns 15!

    Time flies! The funny thing is that when I started BATing, to me it already felt like an "old" game, and I think that was only a year or two after the game had been released. I don't know what I would have thought if someone had told me I'd still be doing it now! Imagine what people would think if they saw today's BATs all those years ago! Or the NAM or all of the other mods that have been made. Or all the CJs. I think we've all pushed the game so far beyond what anyone would have thought possible.
  2. Maloskero's Brazilian BAT's

    So, for texturing, all of your materials should be the Arch & Design type. I can't tell if they are or not, but if they aren't, remake the materials as Arch & Design materials. "Standard" doesn't let you control the material's physical properties as well, and the Arch & Design material is designed to work with the renderer to have better lighting. The default settings for reflectivity and glossiness are bad though. 0.2 for reflectivity and 0.2 for glossiness is good for most materials. Glass should usually have a reflectivity and glossiness of 1. Metal and polished stone depend on the material. Also, for all materials (except for things like glass), you'll want to turn on "ambient occlusion". This is in the "special effects" section of the Arch & Design material. For "samples" the default is fine, but if your renders are going slow you can lower the number of samples. For "max distance" I always use 4 meters. You can google ambient occlusion to learn more about it, but for BATing it's very important for making the lighting look right, especially for crevices and interior corners. There's also an option called "use color from other materials (exact ao)" which takes longer to render, but adjusts the color of the ambient occlusion to be more accurate (ambient occlusion is a fake lighting effect and this option makes it closer to being physically correct). You can see an example of the difference it makes below: Without ambient occlusion, a lot of it looks really botchy and the shapes are hard to see. Especially in the shadow areas. With ambient occlusion it looks much better, and exact ambient occlusion looks more natural.
  3. EJH Creations

    Good luck! I don't recognize the building.
  4. Twinkle, twinkle, little BAT...

    The underlying problem is that even though splines seem like one dimensional objects, the vertexes actually have a direction. When you "create shape from edges" it doesn't know how to align the directions correctly, and so it twists around.
  5. AngryMozart's BAT symphonies

    Yeah it's a shame that the rust isn't more visible. You could make the rust spots bigger to make them easier to see. It also doesn't help that the value (the brightness or darkness) of the rust and paint are about the same, so they blend together, even though the hues are different. To make the rust stand out better you could try changing how bright the rust and/or paint is, until there is more contrast. It looks good anyway, just not as weathered as it could be.
  6. Twinkle, twinkle, little BAT...

    Yeah you've got a lot of 1920s neoclassical and art deco office buildings going on, an 1800s factory building stands out. Also I looked around for the building in Detroit and I found it, but I have to inform you that the building is red and not lime green in real life.
  7. Maloskero's Brazilian BAT's

    Happy new year! I agree that the number of downloads you've gotten has been low. I think if you upload more often, you will get more downloads. Because I think people see something they like, and then click on "find other files by this author" to discover more content. So the more uploads you have the more likely someone will discover what you made and download it. You'll also want to reupload the images for simple houses and shops set, because the photobucket images don't work anymore. And my advice is to show the buildings as clearly as possible in the thumbnail image. If you can't fit all the buildings into one thumbnail clearly, I think it is better to only show a few, and show the rest in other images. Because when someone is quickly going through dozens of pages on the STEX, they need to be able to see what your BAT looks like, or else they'll scroll past it without noticing. But it's true that SC4 is not as popular as it used to be.
  8. mipro

    Well it turns out that I can't finish the Guardian at all for 2017 so it doesn't matter. I did get some good progress in today though. More roof junk tomorrow (this is why skyscrapers now have mechanical floors ). Thanks for your support everyone. HD Zoom 6 (click for full size):
  9. mipro

    @Finnbhennachlol I think that thing would actually make me go slower. I actually use hotkeys less than most people. Although I did set up a custom hotkey to make "c" quickslice, so that I can quickly use a combination of hotkeys to select polygons, turn quickslice on, make the cuts, and then turn quickslice off and then select a different polygon to do it over again. But I don't even use the number pad part of the keyboard when I type numbers. But I do watch professional games of starcraft sometimes, and what I want to see someday is a match where they're not allowed to use a mouse, so that it looks like they're just typing an essay or something when they play lol So guys, I'm not going to be able to fully finish the Guardian Building for 2017. Ultimately it doesn't matter much if it's released now or a bit from now, except for it to fall in the 2017 Trixies. So I'd like to float the idea of uploading a mostly done version of it in 2017, and then updating it later. The 2017 upload would essentially be done, minus some time intensive texture tweaking and the custom query. It would be modded so that you could download it and play with it, and when I updated it you'd just have to replace the .SC4Model file, without having to demolish any lots in your city. It's up to you guys to decide if uploading it that way is a good idea or a bad idea. On top of normal Christmas stuff I've had to find a new doctor and prepare for an unexpected job opportunity, so I haven't been able to do the BATing marathon that I had envisioned for this week.
  10. My guess is that it's smoothing groups. Look at the image (one I just found online) below. With the object as an Editable Poly, you'll want to select either the entire element or all of the polygons of the object, and then press the "clear all" button in the smoothing groups section. If that doesn't work, try the "retriangulate" button. Smoothing groups control which adjacent polygons should be given a smoothing effect. For example, when you make a sphere, the actual geometry is faceted, but the smoothing effect makes it look smooth. The "groups" of "smoothing groups" are the groups of polygons, and there can be a bunch of separate groups in one object which is why there are so many numbers. The "rule" is that if polygons are not assigned to a smoothing group, they will not be smoothed. If a polygon is assigned to a smoothing group it will be smoothed but only smoothed with other polygons of the same group. If you make a sphere and give half of it smoothing group "1" and then select the other half and give it smoothing group "2" then both halfs will be smooth except for the seam between the two halves, because they do not share the same smoothing group. For SC4 smoothing groups cause more problems than they solve. Because of the low resolution of the renders it's easy to get smooth surfaces just by increasing the number of polygons, so you don't really need the fake smoothing effect. But as you're modeling (or in this case importing a model from a different program), the wrong smoothing group settings can make things look weird. Then there's the retriangulate button. Basically, in gmax and 3ds max every surface is a triangle. If you have a face that is not a triangle, the program automatically breaks that face down into triangles. So a square polygon is always actually two triangles under the hood. Models imported from other programs sometimes have triangulation issues (just like they sometimes have smoothing group issues). Models that have faces that are super complex, like a single face that has the shape of virginia's border, have problems because the program has trouble figuring out how to break such a complicated shape into triangles. When you've got weird visual artifacts, pressing those two buttons usually fixes things. But I do have to emphasize what the others said about the viewports. The viewports are super rough approximations that are only meant to make it easier to see what you're working on. To see what something actually looks like you need to render it. Like for me, in gmax my brick textures rarely appeared correctly on a model even though they was indeed correct and looked correct when I rendered it.
  11. mipro

    The light fixtures are part of the roof junk, and so I've also started the nitelites, but I'm mainly just confirming that the light placements will work.
  12. mipro

    Thanks guys! @9gruntsand1hammer It will be a 5x2. I don't think anyone ever makes 5 tile deep zones so I'm not going to make a 2x5. The front and two sides will have a one paver setback, conforming to that w2w standard, but the back has an alley, so it won't actually touch any neighboring buildings. The best situation for it in the game is for it to cap off a 5 tile wide block, which is what it does in real life.
  13. I think after seeing how much attention SC2013 got, a small team thought they could do a better job and make some money. They did do a better job and they did make some money. A lot of times, game makers are genuine fans of the types of games that they make. Like if you looked at the staff working on a FPS, I'd bet you that a lot of them made Half Life 2 mods when they were younger. The people in charge of designing RPGs were probably designing RPGs in their notebooks in middle school. The people who made CS have played SimCity games and have enjoyed them, but they haven't been in the SimCity community. They tried to get an idea of what people wanted and they got a lot of things right, but they missed out on a lot of things too. The zoning and building growth are two easy examples. The 32m max zone size is unacceptably small, and whatever they thought they were doing that forced that limit, they needed to restart the design process to solve that problem. It's as simple as that. For building growth, that is also a very basic element of a city sim game. For starting out the design process and thinking about the basic things which are needed in order for a city sim to work well, the building growth is an important part of it. And when they were doing their research (or through being genuine fans of the genre) they should have learned about SC4's growth stage system. Even SC2k and SC3k tried to deal with it by making the center of the map have higher land values so there'd be more skyscrapers there, making the assumption that people would put their downtowns in the middle. Those are two examples, but I feel like there are other times when they missed out on core functionalities of city simulators. It *is* true that city simulators are complex games. That makes them harder to develop. But I also think that city simulators also have very enthusiastic modding communities that will generate massive amounts of game content for basically forever. I think most of us here understand that the true task of developing a city simulation game is solving all the core game mechanics and creating a solid foundation for modders to create content. But anyway back to the main question, I think that the the attention that SC2013 got, and the success that SC has had, and the longevity of SC4, have all proven city sims to be a reliable niche genre. I don't think that another studio will want to try to compete against Cities Skylines until they feel they can beat it, because I don't think there's much pie to go around. As computers get better and development tools get better, it will be easier to make a city sim game capable of outdoing the previous one. Cities Skylines was not released that long ago and is still actively getting DLC.
  14. Twinkle, twinkle, little BAT...

    I think it's called "cresting". Googling it mostly brings up ornament for pitched roofs on houses, but also brings up this type of ornament on parapet walls of commercial architecture.
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