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      Got the wrong discs? Or didn't receive them in the mail?   06/20/2018

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  1. It's quite the exciting time on simtropolis these days is it? The trixies are finally upon us, meanwhile there's plenty of new and exciting developments in the pipeline, as can be see in the show us thread(s). It's fairly common around this time of the year for some of the more regular CJ creators to put out a yearly review of their work from the previous year(s). I was hoping to do the same however at the moment I don't have the time to make a entire new entry. Instead I'm 'piggy backing' a brief review into this entry, which in any case features what I think was probably my best work. In the past two years I've published 49 entries(29 in 2015 and 20 in 2016) with well over a thousand images in total. That's a lot to go through So I've made a brief list entries which I think stand out the most in those two years. I'd very much appreciate it if you could kindly take a look through these. It's going to be hard but I think it's important to try to differentiate what content was produced in what year so with an eye towards that I've separated the lists into two for each year. 2015 The year I stated this CJ. As such my work back then wasn't as refined in comparison to recent work and it was not definitely not on par with the front runners for best CJ of the year 2015, which imo would be Kim Sunwoo's "Leningrad," Tonraq's "Okaiken", Mymyjp's "New Manshin" & Ln X's "My SC4 Scrapbook". But there are some things that I think this journal would still be notable for in that year, specifically in regards to; roadgeek & railway work, overall transportation planning, industry, attention to detail, being informative, city and regional functionality, and showing large mosaics. All of which was probably best seen in the following two entries. Not quite as intimidating as the 5 points but still quite massive in it's own right, the first appearance of; And the megaplant, which a bit of a historical perspective to boot; And another important road/rail entry was this one; For a little total Overkill on the info/details/presentation there's these three entries Those would be the best 6 out of 29 entries in 2015. I wasn't quite there yet with mmp's & CBD's (hey it rhymes!) and I'd think you'd probably agree. If you want to see for yourself, the best examples are; mmp - Gravenhust CBD - Cisco Bay, Dresden. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2016 In brief, this was a good year for the CJ Of course it was also a very good year for a few others as well such as Kover's "True Earth" & Ln X's "My SC4 CJ Scrapbook". Once again the journal was heavy on transportation, industry, details and functionality with a new added focus on suburban & landscaped environments. Best of Industry(this entry) and; Best of Transportation; Railways, Mosaics and a the Road map; Best of Suburbs; Including this entry that highlights 8 of the 20 entries of the year, so I'll stop right here. I also showed you guys some detailed mmp work in entires 41 & 42 but there's others who showcased way more of that genre than I did, quality and quantity count. Lastly there is an ongoing large scale project that I've been working on for the last couple of years which I first introduced here; A BIG thanks again to all of you for stopping by and supporting the journal over the last two years. Let's have great trixie season! That concludes my brief 2-year review. Please check out the entry below if you haven't yet already. Now if you'll excuse me for a bit, it's going to takemeawhile to put in all these trixie nominations ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is the last update featuring the Apotex Refinery and the industrial area of Baycole. Parts of the refinery, specifically the hydro corridor, tank farm(s) & associated piping, power plant & incinerator were already seen in entry 38 & 39. This time I'll be showing the central areas of the refinery and mosaics of the whole complex both day and night. This will be the last industrial update for a few. Entry's on landscaping and a major highway interchange are next on the agenda. Central Unit Closeups 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The physical connection between the two sections can be seen below. Also the facility is partially automated which is why you see robots running around all over the place Secondary Unit 9. 10. 11. In the mood for some very colorful night shots? 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. And here come the mosaics. First the the Central Section(the Primary Production Unit) The Secondary Unit across the road and the rail fueling depot both looking West 21. looking East 23. 24. Some wide angle pano action 26. 27. 28. Final shot(s) of the entire facility. 31.
  2. Season 2 Recap

    Hall Of Fame, Season 2 Recap With Season 3 launching next week, we decided to go back through last seasons Hall Of Fame entrants. We had a lot of new entrants last season, amongst some long time ST members, and we are here to show them off! Enjoy! Weekly Challenge: City Life Third Place: @Tonraq - A Rainy Day in a Divided Society Second Place: @SimCoug - Left off of the tourist brochure First Place: @feyss - Hollogne Weekly Challenge: Sports Complexes Third Place: @rivit - Another Saturday morning Second Place: @Joe 90 - Witanceaster Simlympic Park First Place: @Tonraq - Closing Ceremony Weekly Challenge: Street View Third Place: @Mr_Maison - City Oasis Second Place: @Extrenix - Mountain Dead-end First Place: @Joshman24 - Aufgsburg City Hall Weekly Challenge: Interchanges Third Place: @cs_k3 - Gilford Bay Main Artery Second Place: @zdza - Multiple interchanges First Place: @kingofsimcity - The Beast Weekly Challenge: Transport Hubs Third Place: @CapedCat - Jarvis Central Station Second Place: @timmie - Haften - Central Station First Place: @Belfastsocrates - Illford Railway Station Weekly Challenge: Farming Scenes Third Place: @Huston - Demeter System Second Place: @SimCoug - Bumgardner's orchard First Place: @gigius76 - Campagne di Macondo Weekly Challenge: High-Rise Lifestyle Third Place: @kingofsimcity - Winchester Rising Second Place: @feyss - Avenue Louise First Place: @SimCoug - Roarin' 20s Weekly Challenge: Night Life Third Place: @APSMS - San Diego at night Second Place: @Masissar - Nor Erebuni, Midnight First Place: @Joshman24 - A Calm Night Weekly Challenge: Fantastic Photoshop Third Place: @SimCoug - Whale Watching Second Place: @kelistmac - Bassen - The Netherlands First Place: @Huston - Shuttle Drop on Menae Weekly Challenge: Sports And Leisure Third Place: @gviper - Evening Escape Second Place: @OwiHH - Island Golf 18 Hole Course First Place: @YorkshireMayor - Campus Sports Best Picture Competition Entries: @Ln X - The Night Cometh... @Ln X - In the shadow of the Pylon @MilitantRadical - When In Rome @MilitantRadical - Divine Shrine @Thin White Duke - Downtown Boswell Monthly Challenge: NAM Showcase Third Place: @Compdude787 - 5-Way Interchange Second Place: @takemethere - Spaghetti Junction First Place: @kingofsimcity - The 'Chester And there we have it! All the images entered into the Hall Of Fame from Season 2. We had hundreds of entries over all challenges, and these images represent the best of the best. What really surprised me was the amount of Cities Skylines entries we had, even with such a short amount of time since the release of the game. Also, there was a wide range of members reaching the HOF. Really exciting to see all of these great images. Hope you liked this walk through memory lane! Check out the upcoming Season 3 Challenges if you want to take part!
  3. A long time ago I released the Resource Replacer mod, which was never utilized by anyone (bad documentation is one reason for that). What you can do with it is replace textures and colour variations of any building asset (vanilla or custom). You can even add lights to pre-AD assets, or add normal maps to assets which did not have one. All these overrides and settings can be bundled in Resource Packs (just like Building Themes, Sound Packs etc.). Edit: You can start reviewing here: Many of the default assets look like $%&^!, no idea what drugs they took when they textured and imported them. The biggest problem are badly chosen colour variations (many assets just use yellow, green, blue, red...). A few buildings can only be "fixed" by editing their textures (white or pink roofs...). During the last few months, I started to take a look at all the default growables. I took screenshots of all the details, colour variations and night lights (all with the same LUT, time settings, orientation). I also tried to find better colour variations which can later be used in a Resource Pack. Another thought behind this was the (re-)classification of growables (architecture style, lot size, wealth level, household/workplace count, density and CAM like growth stages) and finding a nice name for every single one. Also a general rating to sort out the really bad assets. Upcoming mods like Growable Overhaul and a total overhaul mod would heavily benefit from a review of all vanilla growables, and the look of your cities could be improved (color variations alone change a lot). I want you, the players and asset creators, to take over the rating, naming and classification of the buildings. I thought of a simple questionnaire you can fill out for every single asset (is anything missing?): Ideally asset creators would also extract the default textures to improve them (so they can be added to the Resource Pack). So far I inspected all low-density residential buildings of the game (460 screenshots of 73 buildings), but I never shared my progress. I'm not completely sure what would be the best way to publish a daily image. A forum thread, or maybe a gallery or city journal? Or some kind of blog? What do you think? Edit: I went for a city journal Here is an example set of screenshots (L4 2x2 Villa07):
  4. Hello Simtropolis! I've finally completed a project that I've wanted to do for a while now (no, not BATting, sadly), but something almost as interesting: a review of SimCity 4. It's not a review like what you would expect from a game journalist, rather, it recaps my time with SimCity 4 over a course of 10 years, even going back to 2002. It glosses over some of the harder times, but is largely a nostalgia trip to what I feel were better times for SimCity 4. In it I included one of my own cities and a few other things I screen-grabbed from 8-9 years ago, talking a lot about Simtropolis and some of the buildings I really liked from it, and the limitations of the game. I hope that this is interesting to you guys as well (some of you have lived through all this time, some haven't) and I'd like to hear some general comments on it. I did get mod approval for the page as written, to avoid any conflicts as well as doing some fact checking (and to my knowledge, there were none). http://www.carbon-izer.com/games/sc4/sc4.html
  5. hi all!! I hope your week is going great. after some game time, I finally got a chance to write up a full review of CSL. here is it: http://mnmmariam.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/cities-skylines-review/ Let me know what you think!
  6. Hi all! I'm new to Simtropolis, but I've been playing Sim City since Sim City 2000, which means, over 15 years, as scary as that number sounds to me. :/ I'm a big Sim City 4 gamer. I love to develop regions and cities. When I heard about Sim City 2013 I had to try it out! So, I spent 2 hours playing the trial run and thought I would write up a review. You can check it out on my blog: http://mnmmariam.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/my-sim-city-5-2013-review-my-new-sim-city-story Let me know what you think! And hope you all have a great post-independence day Sunday =)
  7. Hello all I have decided to post my mod reviews here. I will only post links here, as I am unsure if I'm allowed to post the video as a video here. Here is the link to the first mod review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQo19Gl8MA0 Enjoy!
  8. The HD Anniversary Update

    It's hard to believe it has already been a year since Holt District launched. HD launched on July 27 2012. At the time, it was a humble region of under 400 000 sims. And it looked to be the peaceful place, with not many changes underway. Of course, this changed in an instant. The region experienced a massive boom in its first year under the bright lights of being a city showcase. It saw the construction of several new highways under HDHIP (Holt District Highway Improvement Project) - the construction of its first LRT line which will eventually traverse the entire region, the introduction of BoldNewHD which introduced a plan to develop Holt District into a world-class metropolis, and a whole lot more. And the vision to have Holt District turn into a world-class metro area is coming true. Today it is home to more than 1.4 million sims - that's a jump of 263% since the launch date back last July. Nevermind that, it's an increase of over 1 million sims. And it's still growing. The first year of Holt District has been awesome. Holt District was selected Developer Diary of the year at Simmania. It was OSITM at SC4Devotion in January. It won Meg's Smorgasboard Award during the 2012 Trixies. Holt District was nominated for the most categories of any CJ or BAT during the campaign. It amassed over 1200 replies and 50 000 views. And all of this because of you. Without you Holt District wouldn't be what it is today. This update will take us back on the year that has been, and take a look into what happened to each municipality. Consider it your transition into "season 2" - launching soon. So... let's continue! THE HD ANNIVERSARY UPDATE Holt District changed a lot in its first year, growing almost 300% to just above 1.4 million sims from under 400 000. The 9 municipalities each saw stellar growth, with no municipality growing below 30%. Each faced numerous developments, monumental changes and challenges. We will now take a look at what happened in each of the 9 municipalities this past year. Sherkston saw a lot of growth this past year. As the business hub and transport hub of the region (3 key highways meet in the city) the city was bound to feel the effect of a booming region. Coupled with the intensification zone legislation that opened greenfield to highrise development, Sherkston had all the makings of a major boom. The city managed to grow a whopping 227% this year. That is despite all the suburban sprawl going on around it. The city also saw its culture scene pick up with the restoration of Fort Sherkston being completed. Manatee, meanwhile, also grew. Although it grew at the slowest pace of any municipality, at 36%, it underwent massive changes. The greenfields on the west end of town were opened to an ongoing condo construction project which will soon bump up the city's population. The city faced hardship when a tornado struck a huge path of destruction through the southern portion of the city, which is still recovering to this day. It was embroiled in scandal from the clean-up efforts of those citizens when the major insurance company, a developer and a corrupt politician tried to scam these citizens. Thankfully this sceme was uncovered before any damage was done. And the city is the first to get a line of the new HD LRT system. It has spurred redevelopment all along the route. Dofino, the northern suburb to Sherkston, grappled with changes on a scale never-before scene in the town. Once a small, sleepy village Dofino has transformed into a sprawling live/work community. The city grew from a population of under 16 000 to now almost 150 000 - a change of 848%. Many lament the loss of the small community vibe, but others note it has strengthened business in the centre of all the charm, its downtown core. The EL-Rail line that runs to Dofino will soon be converted to LRT, and connect to a new line which will lead out to the ever-building Kuhan CBD. Next we visit Norecount. Norecount started the year as a respectable town just south of Manatee. Serving mainly as a spill-over community to those looking to live in Manatee, it has re-invented itself. While most people who live in Norecount wish to live in Manatee, a growing number of people are moving to Norecount because of the area's new, large industrial park and easy access throughout the region, thanks to the Highway 40/Highway 23 interchange. The town is now served by the LRT line that runs through Manatee, and it is expected this line will soon be expanded. Rumour has it a massive planned community is in the works for the town... In the first year of HD Norecount grew from 17 673 sims to 92 870 - an increase of 425%. Old Port started the year off on the wrong foot. It was in dire need of a change in political leadership - and it eventually got one. The town decayed due to a council that essentially prohibited any change. Expansion, redevelopment, you name it, they didn't allow it. This was all to avoid the errors of the council that came before. However, they took it too far. The town's restrictions were so strict, the DSBHD almost was forced to shut down its elementary school in the town because it couldn't perform urgent structural problems. Eventually this council was forced out, and a new one installed. Old Port has begun to recover, with a planned community being constructed. Plans are underway to redevelop its waterfront park. The elementary school has been fixed. Old Port saw growth of 294% this year, its population rising from 8121 to 32023. Next we visit Midport. Midport was not rocked by any sort of major event or scandal, it just faced the desire of many to live on the coast. A massive condo building dominated the year that was. And after a tiny decline in population in the first census, its has been booming ever since. Plans for a new commercial district were unveiled, and along with several condo buildings under construction, a new mini business district is coming Midport's way. The coastal town saw its population rise from about 33000 to 86215 - an increase of 160%. Of course we can't also forget Shorecoast. Shorecoast also felt the effect of the coastal condo boom. Several mega-structured were construction housing thousands of people between them. The city has not felt any particular effect of BoldNewHD - but the LRT system could soon find itself in Shorecoast connecting to Norecount, Manatee, Sherkston and beyond... Shorecoast grew from 71494 to 98748 - a population increase of 38%. Next we move to Kuhan. Where to start... so much happened this past year in Kuhan. It's more like what DIDN'T happen. Kuhan saw itself no longer a tiny township. It was reincorporate into a town - going from the Township of Northwest Holt to The Town of Kuhan. It saw 2 new highways move into its boundaries. The last new EL-RAIL line was constructed, and will soon be converted to LRT. The BoldNewHD project opened the area up to massive residential developments. An amusement park opened its doors. Countless businesses opened their doors. The Kuhan CBD has started construciton. While it sits in the middle of nowhere now, it will soon find itself surrounded. A community that was once better known for flat grassy lands is now a major players in the housing and business boom going on in Holt District. And you know what's really scary? Its growth statistics. What's scarier? It wasn't the fastest growing municipality in Holt District this past year. Kuhan - the SECOND fastest growing municipality in Holt District, soared to new heights from a population of 3796 to a population 190 597. That's a jump of 4921%! And current estimates as of this post peg growth to possibly be even higher, now reaching 7000% YOY. Now we visit our last municipality, also the fastest growing this past year: Flynn. Like Kuhan, Flynn started the year as a rural township. Then known as the Township of Saltfield, Flynn was reincorporated as a town as a result of the November 2012 referendum, like Kuhan. BoldNewHD unleashed growth to the area. Suburban developments began to rampantly spread through the municipality. New houses, new business appeared everywhere. When industry was permitted to be developed in the region, industrial parks began spreading and sprawling. The town is the centre for sprawl. Then, a site in Flynn was selected to house the new Holt District stadium. A massive development plan around the arena ensued, further fuelling the growth of the town. If you were to visit Flynn for the first time today in over a year, you would not recognize it. It was the fastest growing muncipality in the region this past year. Its numbers are impressive and scary all at once. Ready? Okay... Flynn's populations soared from 2462 to a booming 211 028 - a growth rate of 8421%!!! It leapfrogged its way from smalled to second largest municipality in terms of population. And what better way than to show you the first and current region views displayed in Holt District's lifespan? I can't think of one. So here you go. Region View, July 2012 [showcased in August] Region View, June 2013 [current as of Q22013 census] And have I mentioned it looks a whole heck of a lot different, even from this? So I want to thank everyone who has supported Holt District in its first year. As you can see, a lot has happened in both the region and the showcase itself. I hope you will all continue to follow Holt District as it enters its second year. I have a lot planned, and assuming RL co-operates a lot to show! You will get a chance to learn more about the road ahead of Holt District in the first official update of "season 2". I once again want to thank all of you for continuing to support Holt District! It wouldn't have amassed over 50K views, 1200 comments without you. So thanks for making HD's first year so awesome! Replies will be done on first season 2 update!
  9. Hi guys, I am unsure on cross-promotion of forums rules... hopefully this doesn't breach any rules? I'd post the whole thing here, but seriously, each entry is taking me hours so I'd much rather just provide a link. I have bought Simcity 2013 and have 7 days to trial it obligation free before I decide whether to return it or keep it. I'm writing an impartial review on CSGforums, which you can read here. The aim is to journal my experience over this week to see what I think. Most of my time is spent actually posting the review, lol... but the whole purpose is to give people considering the good and bad reviews a much more in-depth look at the game before committing to buying it. Let me know what you think? Some previews: I'll be adding entries to this "journal" all week, so feel free to have a squizz and lemme know what you think. Cheerz!
  10. As the number of views in in the small 000's I thought I would just post a link to a review of Sim City 2013, in case anyone else is interested.. I liked it, maybe some of you will..
  11. Out of all the reviews i have read not one of them mentions how horrible the Pathing and AI logic are, i am finding it to be so bad its nearly unplayable after around 20k pop. Mostly things will just burn down or crime goes crazy as police and firetrucks all line up going from one disaster to another. I thought Maxis went on and on about how sophisticated this new engine was??? Am i missing something here. thoughts?
  12. So this is my 3rd review. My first was based on Beta, my Second on some limited experience playing. This is based on nearly 24 hours of non stop playing. I have to say that I was EXTREMELY hard on EA / Maxis, and they really screwed this launch up. I hate DRM as much as anyone and I think most of us envisioned something besides what we got. So is the game good or not? I'm going to answer that the best I can and give you some details AND a general game guide based on my experience so far. I want to first start by saying that I played a few cities and felt a bit "meh" about it to start. I was not really thrilled but certainly not put off either. After building my first few cities which were not so special I learned a few things. Here's a picture of my one of my first cities, not so successful in density. I thought I would get fancy with some curved roads. They look pretty nice and I am glad they have them in the game. Above you can see the problem. Tons of wasted space. While curved roads are nice they don't allow you to make the most of your allocated land. I had major problems with this city in terms of population. That's not always a bad thing though, you can make a nice curvy city that's there to do something specific not related to density like make $$$ to fund another city, or take trash or provide other services. Yes there are some graphical glitches. They are typically easy to fix. As you can see I like to start out with dirt roads and locate my power and water in the best possible spot. At that point you'll want to take note of wind location as well so you know where to put your industrial. You don't want your pollution blowing into the city. If you are specialising in something like Coal or Oil you should take note of where it's at using your Data Layers so you can plan around it. You can even mark the spot with some dirt roads in the shape of an X The above image is the "start" of my last city I made. The one I spent nearly 24 hours on. In this image you can see I limited my curvy roads to make better use of space. I had about 6 hours into that city as it's shown! I took my time, it is essential to take your time when going for a goal to grow something large. You really need to think out your road layout. I would suggest building just dirt roads and very slowly upgrading blocks at a time. After you upgrade your block, sit back and wait for the buildings to upgrade. Do NOT rush! If you rush you will only cause yourself some financial problems. It's important to take your time and enjoy watching things unfold, to plan your attack. It makes the game much, much more enjoyable. Above picture you can see I let my buildings grow even though I had plenty of space not yet developed. I think that's important. Notice the large space on the left side I left. If you close everything in tight with the guide tools without leaving some large spaces you will find yourself in some real trouble upgrading buildings or adding larger buildings later on. In this city I was trying to stay as green as possible so I used Solar and Wind. The nice thing about the solar is it takes up a lot of space, so later when I can outsource my power or upgrade to a smaller solution I have plenty of space to use again for something else. It's very important to not go crazy trying to get the biggest and best buildings right away. They cost money to run, only upgrade what you absolutely have to. Here you can see my infrastructure growing out more. I built high density large roads in the center of the map. I really like the Avenue with the Trees down the center, too bad it's mostly a waste without upgrading it to high density street cars. If I weren't going for high population I could have kept them without upgrading. This map contained many natural resources but I was not going after any of them, you really don't have to. For this map I was going for high density well educated tech & trading. One thing I didn't get to play with much in the Beta, or really care for were the Data Maps. I have to say though they are very helpful and very cool! This is just a collage of a few of them. Cars switching lanes and blocking each other while cutting in front of others. I thought that was pretty cool. I thought my little bridge was pretty cool. The sims weren't really using it though, so I upgraded the road type and added more buildings around it so they would. One thing that is really nice about how the terrain works is that it goes back to its original state if you destroy a road, bridge or building. I think that's really cool, you aren't permanently ruining the land. One of the only other curved roads I had, coming into the city around the space I left for City Hall. You have to make sure you leave space for expandable buildings! This just takes a few practice cities to get the hang of. Look closely around the buildings before you place them and you should see some guides. The blue dots that show up will show you where you can expand to as well. Just an image of the entrance. Some of the buildings were glitching out and I tried snapping a screen shot. There is a fix to glitching buildings, change your refresh rate from 59 to 60 or vice versa. It may happen again, just switch it again. Hopefully there's a permanent fix to this, but it really didn't take much to fix when it occurred, not a big deal! The city at night with a neighbor city in the background. This game has a very charming look to it! I really love it. A view looking back at my city from the neighbors, sweet! A tornado ripping through the center of my city. No harm done though mostly, I think Skyscrapers are mostly immune, though I am not sure how well low density housing mobile homes would fare! I have a love hate relationship with this guy. He's fun to watch but he can do a ton of damage. He comes out from a random location and heads towards your dump to eat the garbage wrecking everything in the way. I lost a few skyscrapers this way, something you don't want since you can lose a lot of population and tax dollars! An abandoned building. I couldn't find these because this particular model is glitched so that when you are in bulldoze mode you will see there is a building to destroy but the icon is missing. It's hidden inside the building, you can still locate the building visually by it being blacked out and abandoned looking. You can choose to destroy them or wait for somebody to move back in. If you destroy them it may take a tad bit longer to rebuild something but there's no chance of a fire. I didn't have much problems with fires and health in my city because my population was very well educated which helps to reduce that. One of the road types is a 4 lane with no lights! Just stop signs! I thought this was really odd. I've never encountered this driving IRL and I don't think I would want to! Pretty sure that would be a disaster. Do you have OCD? Those roads were drawn using the guides. Later when I went to add those park / pathways they didn't completely fill the spaces. Oh god why?! *twitch* More OCD. I just couldn't fit that last garage on the land. I had to justify in my head that it evened out the building on the other side, even though I know it doesn't. I like to "walk" around the city and take screen shots. It's very entertaining. I think it could be more photogenic at the street level, higher res textures maybe but I did notice some slow downs with frame rates when zoomed in. Most of the models are very cool. I think they did a great job with the visuals, despite some of the textures not being the best. My industrial Tech section advancing and looking good! I even saw some tesla coils, cool! Something to keep in mind when laying down services such as FD, PD, Medical is to keep things close to major roads so they can get where they need to go ASAP. My city was advancing pretty well at this point. Trading is a ton of fun. I was building CPUs and Electronics, TVs and Computers and selling them for profit. A lot of profit! I was making about 600-800k a month. As you can see I was running in the red by the tune of about 46k an hour while still making gobs of cash! Huge success! I ran in the red to extend all my services, fire, health and police so that my city would grow. The highest in population I reached so far was around 240k but it ended up dropping below 200k again. Not sure why, but that's just another ongoing challenge! I loved the challenges presented to me, having to check my imports and exports, my recycling and trading depot. I was constantly clicking around, it kept me on my toes. Once you get big you really need to stay on top of things. All that cash and electronics let me build a Great Works, I just started one so I can't report on it much yet. I started a huge solar array which will power all the cities in the region cheap (I hope) The plan after that is to demolish all my power services and expand my electronics even more. This game can be very competitive if you want it to. It can offer many challenges or you can play more casually. I can't wait until the leader boards are back up and running so I can see how close to the top I can get! I'm in my 30s now, I have played games since the early 80s and started playing SimCity on an Amiga system! I can't remember when I have been so addicted to a game, so excited to play. This game is charming, beautiful, intelligent, well thought out. I feel bad for Maxis that it's getting such bad reviews. I was one of the biggest critics of this game and I made it pretty clear to Maxis / Ea on their forums. One thing I noticed was that while I did complain I also offered a lot of suggestions on some small stuff. The interesting thing? They actually fixed those. I was the only one talking about them such as dirt road shoulders needing fixed, trees shaking the screen when being plopped or sounds too common. That tells me they were actually listening and taking everyones suggestions into consideration. I don't like some of the marketing techniques they used, I think in ways they were dishonest. I think my criticism would have been less had I not felt like I was being treated like a dummy, but that's marketing these days. If you are a fan of SimCity then this game is a no brainer, it is a MUST buy. While I thought the DRM and multiplayer would be an issue I can see how it will add SO much to this game once all the server issues are fixed. Tonight I lost my sound card, but I kept on playing anyhow. I was also offered Bacon, I turned it down because I just couldn't leave the game. It's turn down Bacon good, seriously. If you wrote a negative review on Amazon please consider reversing it. This game deserves the communities support. We waited 10 years for this! Don't do a charge back, don't ask for a refund, give it a chance! If I had not purchased this game and found out years from now what I missed out on I would kick myself in the head! This is one game we need to rally behind, not put down. It is so well thought out, so engaging and a joy to play that the DRM is easily forgivable, even IF it sets a bad example. As far as DLC goes... this game feels COMPLETE. I mean it, it's easily worth the $60 plus tax I spent on it and I will gladly pay for more DLC. All the shortcomings that we complained about can be justified once you play the game, it all makes sense. I think the 3 model packs for $10 each is too much though, that's half the price of the entire game. I think selling 2 for $10 and 1 for $10 for a total of $20 would be more fair. I hope you enjoyed the review and I hope some of the older mature players here add me on Origin to play together! Congrats Maxis! You built an AWESOME GAME!, A talented group of people indeed! BUY THIS GAME! (also if you have played and have tips or suggestions please post them!) Update #1 Since I'm in a 60 minute waiting queue I thought I would give another update. Since playing more my population has gone from about 240k to 115k! I'm not sure why, it could be loss of industrial zoning or commercial... or a glitch, it's hard to tell. One thing I don't like is for sure is that I can not see the total population of each building. It shows density but not how many are currently living there. Another glitch I meant to point out before is this one in the above image. Notice the RCI icon center screen next to the population shows 0 demand for commercial. For a long time playing the game I just thought I had no commercial demand and just R&I until I went back into the zoning menu, on the right hand side you can see that high wealth commercial is indeed in demand. So that's a glitch that needs fixed. Freight Train never seen. The port is built over the track, there is product stored but no Train. I have no clue why, maybe I am doing something wrong, anyone? Maybe it's because I have enough trucks delivering, I don't know. It says the train should arrive every few hours. Some of the filters are pretty cool, not sure how useful some are but the option is nice. I switched to a color blind mode and like it oddly. I think though that you should be able to pick your filter via the GUI. Having to go into the menu to pick it, apply it, then exit out to see if you even like it is frustrating. Not sure what's going on here but that apartment building is surrounded by parks, they are asking for more. There's also buildings around it with the same Wealth / Density that have no complaints. I've seen buildings also complain of not having access to schools when all buildings around them were fine. Another glitch they need to fix. Also not sure why that Land Value bar is showing in red, every other buildings is green. Notice in the above image the space between the building and the road? Remember how I couldn't get the parks to fully fill in the gap between the 2 roads? EVERY SINGLE block in my game, made using the road guides has that gap! I tried laying down a park and then creating a road around it so that the park would fill between the roads manually but that does not work either! It always leaves a gap. So there are 2 issues here that need fixed, wasted space using the road guides, and parks that don't fully fill the gaps. Here you can see the issue of the gaps on every single block. Pretty annoying, OCD to the max! I have to fix this whole city.... I'm not sure how much wasted space that will add up to but every bit counts on these small map sizes. The game certainly has it's little issues, and one big major one of bad server planning. While I am okay 100% with online only I am not okay with bad service and this is terrible service. I'm confident it's temporary, but it's very annoying. Still, I LOVE this game. I finally got my Great Works Solar farm up so now, I hope I can use that, nix all my power and purchase it instead giving me more room. I just have to figure out HOW to get workers to the Solar Farm so I can turn it on. There's a lot of figuring things out in this game on your own, since the manual is next to worthless.
  13. Hey everyone! First, I would like to thank everyone for their interest in our post-event impressions, and for their patience while we worked to get everything together. Second, I want to thank the people at Maxis for their awesome hospitality and for putting this event together. It was a blast to get to talk with the developers, especially since everyone was so excited to have us there for the day. Finally, this is my first time doing a write up like this, so I'm just going to go for it and see where it takes us. However, before we jump head first into the write up, let's take a moment to discuss the format of the event. Our day was split between play testing the latest version of the game, interviews, and opportunities for general chit-chat. That said, I'm going to jump between talking about play testing, interviews, and the like. The first impression upon starting up the game is that Maxis has been busy since the time that the beta was launched. Stuff has been tweaked as a result of feedback from the beta, and the game actually plays differently as a result (I think the end result is better balanced). Just to throw out a single example, road costs have been tweaked, which means that strategies that worked in the beta will now drive you bankrupt in a hurry. For those who think that the new SimCity has no difficulty levels, the taxes act as your primary difficulty levels. (This may not seem like much, but at the same time, the difficulty levels in SC4 really just altered the amount of cash you started with.) As we all know, one of the big new features of the game is city specializations. Some die hard SimCity fans are likely to regard this move as heresy, but I don't see it that way. If you want to play the new SimCity using the classic RCI model, you are totally free to do so, and you will find that the game responds in much the same way that you would expect it to. However, for those of us who might be bored of the classic RCI model, or want to try something new and different, city specialization is a great way to mix up the franchise. Some people will say that the "formula for success" with the city specializations is somewhat flat, but that is a superficial analysis as it takes some degree of skill and planning to capture the benefits of city specializaton while mitigating the negatives that go along with that specialization. There has been concern that the specializations are tilted to favor the resource-based specialization, which would logically mean that the city spaces rich in coal, oil, and ore would be the first to be claimed. However, this concern misses the unique challenge the resource-based specializations face: resource scarcity. These resources are finite, and it's only a matter of time before you have to address your sustainability problems. (During the beta, I built a city based on oil and drove it for everything it was worth. However, the oil fields couldn't sustain that forever, and they started to fail to meet the demands of my refineries. I had to start importing oil to sustain the refinery output, which took a big chunk out of my profits.) If you decide that you want to re-specialize the city, you face potentially even bigger challenges. For the Community Day event, I landed with a city laden with ore, so I specialized in ore production. However, I got tired of the ground pollution hurting my residential development, so I decided to "turn the city around." Except that it didn't turn around. It was like watching the decline of the American Rust Belt as my city slid into a financial death spiral. I had built a city with millions that was the third most economically powerful city in the region, and it all fell apart because I failed to plan far enough forward to ensure a successful transition away from an ore-based city economy. So if you're thinking that pumping oil is a cheap way to amassing millions, just remember that you're going to burn through millions trying to carry your city through the post oil boom days. So at this point, let's take an intermission from the play testing and talk about one of the group interviews that we did. We had the opportunity to do a small group interview with the design team concerning Glassbox and the depth of the simulation. We got to see under the hood and see the game through the eyes of one of the developer debug tools that is used to tune the simulation. With the drag of a slider, the dev shut down a coal plant and with another drag of the coal supply slider, the plant started up again. (Meanwhile, the coal supply animation responded to reflect the state of the coal supply.) Then with a few more clicks, we got to see the pollution simulation while Ocean Quigley explained how the simulation rules wrote air pollution to the map. A couple of clicks later, and we could watch one of the sims driving around the city and what his most pressing interests were. At 6AM, the little sims started getting up for work and we could see traffic picking up while watching how the sims were altering their most pressing needs in response to the events they were encountering. While I admit that I'm not a modder, I feel like if we can get even a fraction of this kind of capability in modding the game, we will eclipse anything SC4 was capable of supporting. Let's jump back to the play testing and talk about something that we all care about: region play. However, before we do that, let's talk about me for a second. I am a lone wolf gamer. My big interests are campaigns (like Halo or any other FPS game) and PvE (like Guild Wars 2 or World of Warcraft). I don't generally enjoy PvP or cooperative play with people I don't know well. That said, let's jump back to SimCity. It took me a few minutes to warm up to the vibe of the room and the people in it, but once that happened, it was magic. I decided that my city was going to be one of the trash dumps of the region, where the mayor didn't care about you and your troubles, and thus, Double Shift was born. And the place lived up to it's name. Double Shift dominated the crime leader board, and I was immensely proud with I became aware that my criminals were setting up franchises in neighboring cities. Fire services weren't set up until half the city was engulfed in flames, and with no health services at all, my sims lived hard and died young. Soon enough, my sims began clamoring for assistance from their neighbors, and Tosca Cliffs came to their aid with police and health services. But Tosca Cliffs had troubles too; trash was overflowing with no method for managing it. Except that Double Shift had just completed expanding its waste management services. A deal was struck and soon the residents of Double Shift began breathing the pollution of Tosca Cliffs's trash. While all of the above is important, it misses another important part of SimCity's region play: the social interaction. Admittedly, the bunch of us were in the same room and this enables conversation to flow in ways that isn't normally possible over the internet, but I'm fairly confident that none of us have had a string of random conversations like this in SC4: -"Oil is where it's at, man. Already making $750,000 a month." -"I want to build a green city. Who's going to take my sewage?" -"We don't want your *bleep*. No one's going to take your *bleep*." -"But I want to build a green city!" -"Send it to Double Shift. I hear he's building a trash dump of a city. He doesn't care." -"Sure, send it over. The ground in that part of the city is already dead anyway." -"JOIN MY CAPITALIST EMPIRE AND TOGETHER WE SHALL RULE THIS REGION!!! MWAHAHAHAH!!" Random amusing stuff like this is possible with the new SimCity. If you want to experience it, you can. If this doesn't interest you, you're under no pressure to engage in this stuff. Now do you want to voice chat with some random dude you don't know who is playing in your region? Probably not. Does it have the potential to be a lot of fun among friends, family, and whatnot? I think so. Another area that deserves mention is the visual filter capabilities. For some individuals, the default visual style is awesome, and for others, not so much. Filters offer an easy way to find a visual style more suited to your tastes. However, filters have so much more potential than that. As cheesy as it sounds, filters offer a new way to experience your city. A single filter change can fundamentally alter how a street feels. I didn't think to ask about this question during the event, but I hope that we get the ability to add in new filters to the game. If we do, I suspect we will the experience the growth of some truly wild and unique City Journals. If you're wanting to tell a story about your city, filters just offer too much potential to ignore them. Before we wrap this thing up, let's head back to the group interviews one more time to hopefully shed some light on what the devs were hoping to achieve with the new SimCity. One thing that was made very clear was that, in designing the new SimCity, the developers were hoping to capture the elements from the previous SimCity titles that made them so much fun to play. However, as even Will Wright admitted, the series was getting too complicated, so they felt that it was necessary to find a way to give the player the core essentials of the SimCity series without burdening the player with micromanagement and extraneous details. Additionally, Maxis is well aware of past efforts to reboot the SimCity series, and the dev team has made the effort to learn from those mistakes. You may think of it as "getting back to basics," or "the prodigal son returns home," or any other number of things, but the dev team has tried to keep the core fundamentals of the SimCity series in place while re-imagining how those core essentials can come together in a game. If you had asked me a while back if I would buy the new SimCity game, the answer would have been a definite no. As far as I was concerned, it was basically another Societies or Cities XL clone and I wasn't interested. I got the opportunity to participate in the beta, so I decided to try it out, and it had a very definite "this is a reboot" feel. It didn't feel like it warranted the title "SimCity 5," but as a reboot of the series, it was decent. However, after playing the version we did for the community event, it is evident that this isn't a reboot where the producer throws out all the old material simply because he didn't like it. This is Maxis positioning the SimCity series for a future it could have never achieved under the previous design paradigm. It may look like Maxis is taking steps backwards with the technology, but that is incorrect. Rather, Maxis is basing the series on a new technological underpinning that will be capable of carrying our favorite franchise into the future. We are witnessing a new stage in SimCity's evolution, and while SC4 hands the new game enormous shoes to fill, I feel it is up to the task. Bottom Line: I intend to buy the game.
  14. I played the beta last night and it was pretty interesting to see how it all worked out etc... I know its a beta, so some of the things that I think should be in the game may be added later - I hope! Good: - Road building options, curves, straight, angled, arc, loop and square box. Its all very smooth and a lot better than CXL - Full 3D graphics make looking around the city much more fun - High performance engine! My Laptop is 5 years old with only a GeForce 8400M GS and the game ran very smoothly, at 1440x900 although only on medium graphics, but a lot faster than I expected. - You can open and close services to save money, rather then having to demolish them! - Sewage, finally! - Expandable and editable buildings! No more having to build 2 schools next to each other. - Sims, speak simlish - although the writing on buildings is English. Simlish is good as it keeps that sim humour - Weather, although I think its more a graphics thing and doesn't effect game play - Water table for placing a water tower! - 1 for 1 simulation. All the cars visible are the actual number using the road so congestion is easy to spot. Bad: - Graphics, they are nice, and perform very well on my old laptop - but for me are a bit too cartoon like. Textures for roads are a bit too plain also. Water looks nice though. - City tile size. I knew they were going to be small, but they really are small. I had a village of 2500 sims and it took up most of the space. - No subways, no motorways = - No grass, tree placement - so you can't build your own parks, only place pre made ones like the SC4 'large flower garden' - Road options are a bit limited, no one way roads, no motorways, and GLR seems to be only placed on the pre places avenues? - Access to the cities is from one point, I couldn't see any through routes, all roads link to the one motorway junction. - No terrain forming, no God mode I think I will buy the game, it is good, but not a serious city simulation game. Maybe it should have been Simsville like the game that was cancelled in 2001? It has some interesting features but lacks depth.
  15. I have a lot of nice things to say about this demo, and some bad, but first, and most importantly... yes, these cities are tiny. My Experience I played the one-hour demo 3 times through, and each playthrough was more successful than the last. My third game, I was able to fill most of the map with medium density buildings, reaching a population of 30,000, an income of $10k/hour and a bank account with half a million simoleons. I had some nice mid-rise commercial buildings, mostly banks, a few large shopping centers and dozens of large apartment complexes. The development of my industrial buildings was less obvious - they all kind of looked the same. Graphics I'm playing on a modern system (Core i5, 8gb RAM) but with an outdated graphics card (Radeon 4870). I was given a warning that my system was below specs and when the game launched the default graphics were at the lowest settings. On these settings, the game looked laughably bad. Slowly, I ramped up the graphics options. I was shocked to discover I could play on a mix of high and medium settings with minimal lag! That 4870 really is an amazing card (as modern bench-marking continues to show). Even at a nice medium-high mix, the graphics were unimpressive. Then, I turned the tilt-shift to high and the game really came alive. I highly recommend using this option, especially if you're running a lower end graphics card. It takes away a lot of the "cartoony" look, makes up for lack of AA, and is overall very impressive. I didn't try to up the AA, which would presumably improve the visual experience significantly. The textures seemed to be lacking, but I'll withhold judgement until I get a new graphics card. Town Building Building works smoothly overall, though zoning is somewhat restricted and I had a hard time creating the look I wanted, particularly with low density residential. It's also difficult to gauge the proper city block size, though I'm sure that gets easier with experience. An option to drag and place zones over multiple blocks is noticeably absent. Road placement is simple enough, as are road upgrades, though upgrading from road to avenue is not a built-in feature and requires some seriously messy bulldozing. You also can't place buildings without having a road first, making it difficult to fit certain buildings in specific places - something you will be very concerned with as you try to build on the edge of these tiny maps. I was hesitant at first about the ploppable components, but overall I like them. You do need to keep extra space available around buildings like schools and police stations for these ploppable pieces, and it will take some experience to learn how much space to save for different buildings. From what I gauge, you'll never need to build two of the same service in one city, instead you'll just upgrade your single fire station or medical clinic, though there are advanced versions of most buildings that presumably replace the smaller versions. Building bus stops for transit and school buses was simple and fun. Building parks is a mixed bag, with many parks coming in unusual shapes and sizes (though the variety is very nice). Building near the water was frustrating and poorly implemented. There's a sub-menu for specialization buildings, though only the casino is available in the demo. The offerings are plentiful and interesting, and you can tell right away that this menu will someday be packed with DLC and, hopefully, mods. Unfortunately, it's hard to imagine fitting many of these buildings in one town. Simulation The first problem I noticed was traffic. Cars don't seem to consider traffic congestion when they choose their route - they appear to take the shortest route in terms of distance. In my first city, I had several roads connecting to an avenue which led to the industrial part of town. Everyone chose to take the same road to the avenue, even though it was completely clogged with traffic, instead of driving an extra block to take a completely empty road to the very same avenue. This could be a serious concern. In subsequent cities, I made sure that different residential areas had separate routes to jobs, which alleviated the worst of my traffic problems but also limited my design options. Other than traffic, everything seemed to run smoothly. The feedback of RDI and the development of density seems to function as one would expect, although I'm not a fan of requiring specific roads to allow for specific density. Many real world cities have old, small roads running through downtown cores - but then again, this is not a game meant for building realistic cities with downtown cores. I also worry that a truly dense city would require a huge number of avenues, which themselves take up a considerable amount of space on these little maps. Region Play There isn't much region play in the demo, but it looks like an interesting and worthwhile part of the game. It will certainly help to create specific types of towns on the small maps, since various services, jobs, etc can be placed in some cities while you focus on residential and commercial in other cities. The Great Works are also a fine idea, especially considering the small map size, though I'm not sure how many great works you'll have space for in different regions. User Interface They really nailed it on the UI. When you click on a different building category, you automatically switch to a real-time info view related to that category. As a result, you're never placing a police station, for example, without simultaneously seeing the safety activity of your town. Same with utilities, parks and so on. The icons for the different building categories also serve as warning indicators, turning orange and then red when that particular service needs attention. There's plenty of depth with additional info-views, but some information seems to be lacking. How many people live in this apartment complex? I'm not sure we get to know. Final Word - City Size SimCity has a lot going for it. It's a well optimized and well designed game that's easy to play and enjoyable to look at. But it's not a city simulator in the traditional sense, instead it's a city "game", where you find yourself more concerned with following the game rules than designing and running your own creation. Part of the problem is that most of the creations we want to build are based on our real-world experience of living in and visiting towns and cities. The small city size will immediately crush your dreams of sprawling suburbs or massive downtowns, and suddenly you realize how few city concepts you have room to try and create at all. Within these limits, I can't create a reasonable model of the large city I live in now or even the small town suburb where I grew up. In the end, I was left with the distinct feeling that I was playing a video game, not building a city, very unlike the sensation I have when playing SimCity 4 or CitiesXL. I think it's obvious that "user experience" is the justification for the small city sizes. Larger cities would require more powerful systems to run properly, and would diminish the game experience of the masses of players who don't have gaming PCs. I understand the reasoning, but I can't support it. Most of the best simulation games - like previous SimCity titles and the Civilization series - struggle mightily in the late-game on large maps, even on systems built many years after the game's release. That's just part of how simulation games work. Some of us will tolerate laggy gameplay and low settings in order to play the biggest maps, others will happily play small maps until they have a new system 2 or 3 years down the road. In this SimCity, we don't have a choice. I will still buy this game and play it for many hours, but unless a version is someday created that allows for large cities, I can't consider this the rightful heir to the city building genre. If I can't recreate my beloved San Francisco, I'm just not satisfied. P.S. If you want to create large, sprawling simulations that resemble real-to-life population centers, I suggest you try latest in the CitiesXL series if you haven't already. I enjoy it much more than a heavily-modded SimCty 4, but both games arguably still share the crown of large scale city simulators.

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