Sim City 4 Devotion Forums
Sim City 4 Devotion Tools => Tools  General Discussion => SC4PIM (PIMX/XTool) => Topic started by: Infixo on March 15, 2010, 12:37:12 PM

Hello
This time I have several comments on category Park. I downloaded ca. 30 various parks and plazas and updated them with PIMX, to make them more realistic and playable. The below findings, comments and suggestions are from this exercise.
1. The Park Effect for Visible Building is calculated without ParkEffectConst factor. I believe it’s a bug because the constant is assigned value in each subcategory. It is also needed – the results are much better with it ;) Correct formula:
<PROPERTY ID="0x27812850" Eval="ParkEffectConst+ParkEffectValue,ParkEffectRadius"/><!Park Effect>
2. Plop cost for category “With Visible Building” doesn’t include the building itself – it covers only park part. The formula is the same as for Invisible Building category. Other formulas e.g. monthly cost, water consumed, pollution take into account the building part. Let's say, the building part costs 10x its Worth. Then the formula for Plop cost should be:
<PROPERTY ID="0x49CAC341" Eval="ParkPlopInitial+ParkPlopCost+10*Worth"/><!Plop Cost with Building>
3. Removing RKT1 in Invisible building subcategories, i.e. <PROPERTY ID="0x27812821" Remove="27812821"/>><!Resource Key Type 1> This is very dangerous. I found lots that were meant by authors to be plazas and parks, with no building (i.e. “flat”) but they have some associated models  authors set Height to 0, just as Maxis did in their parks. Removing RKT1 isn’t necessary. The filter for Occupant Size (<NOT ID="0x27812810" Value="0x0000"/><!Occupant Size>) is sufficient to distinguish between categories.
4. Landmark effect Radius – for all categories I suggest to use the formula I discovered for Landmarks, i.e. radius = effect / 5 + 12. In this case:
<eval name="LandmarkEffectRadius" value="12+(LandmarkEffectValue+LandmarkEffectConst)/5"/>
5. Plaza with Statue (and Playground). It gets the same Landmark effect as Open Plaza &mmm – shame… what about statue itself? The statue (=building), as more visible and valuable, could increase LE because. What about 5 pts per each 10 m? :)
<eval name="LandmarkEffectConst" value="XX + 5*int(CalculatedElevation/10)"/>
6. Same thinking can be applied to Park effect for category With Visible Building. If there’s a building, the lot is more expensive, more costly to maintain, but also should provide more value (=effect). Same as with landmark effect, 5 pts per each 10m gives good results.
<eval name="ParkEffectConst" value="XX+5*int(CalculatedElevation/10)"/>
7. Some small things in Invisible buildings. Maybe inconsistencies…. Concerning Garden vs. Park.
 they have the same monthly cost – Garden should be cheaper, I believe
 park is missing ParkPlopInitial value – inconsistent with it’s brother “Park or Field”
 Water Consumed for Garden is less than Park – again, I think it should be other way around
8. Not to mix categories  the filter <NOT ID="0xAA1DD396" Value="0x150B"/><!Occupant Group Reward> can assure that Stadium is not displayed twice (i.e. in Stadium and Park/Field category). It is implemented in one of subcategories, but it’s better to put it at the Park category level.
9. A small optimization  the filter <NEEDED ID="0x27812850"/><!Park Effect> can be implemented at the category Park level – all subcategories have it.
Last but not least. All calculations for landmark and park effect are based on “average lot dimension”, i.e. (LotSizeX+LotSizeY)/2. This formula is simple, understandable and consistent with Maxis buildings. However, Maxis buildings are rather small, and I found parks and plazas of dimensions like 6x8, 6x6. In such cases the results skyrockets, e.g. plaza 5x5 can give landmark effect bigger than Empire State Building, and this with only marginal plop cost. I don’t think it is how it was supposed to be working. Unfortunately, solving this would require the change of the entire model for the category...
Regards
G.

Several properties for parks are set to give values, which are as much in line with the ingame parks and plazas
(which of course doesn't guarantee I haven't made any mistakes)...
Compromises have been made though,
and in several cases it would certainly have been easier to create new and fully independent formulas,
rather than interpolate and extrapolate from those values Maxis gave their parks.
3. Removing RKT1 in Invisible building subcategories, i.e. <PROPERTY ID="0x27812821" Remove="27812821"/>><!Resource Key Type 1> This is very dangerous.
The RKT1 is instead replaced by a RKT0, pointing to 0,0,0.
For invisible buildings you actually never need to create real invisible models,
and certainly not full RKT1models, having all 20 views (5 zooms and 4 rotations).
An invisible model is just extra ballast, which isn't needed for the lot to function.
Nothing dangerous will happen if you replace an invisible model with a nonexistent model.
If you want a larger area for the hover query to work within,
simply increase the Occupant Size before making the lot.
Last but not least. All calculations for landmark and park effect are based on “average lot dimension”, i.e. (LotSizeX+LotSizeY)/2. This formula is simple, understandable and consistent with Maxis buildings. However, Maxis buildings are rather small, and I found parks and plazas of dimensions like 6x8, 6x6. In such cases the results skyrockets, e.g. plaza 5x5 can give landmark effect bigger than Empire State Building, and this with only marginal plop cost. I don’t think it is how it was supposed to be working. Unfortunately, solving this would require the change of the entire model for the category...
No formulas are perfect in this sense...
Instead of plopping the Empire State Building, providing a landmark effect of 100,
you can also plop 32 Small Maxis Plazas, providing a landmark effect of 1,600
(albeit with a smaller radius, but they can also be spread out in 32 different locations).
The Empire State Building costs 240,000 to plop and 470 per month.
All 32 small plazas cost a mere 2,880 to plop and 320 per month...
It's not the cost or value of the landmark or park that provides the landmark or park effect...
Instead, you could consider that a city that can afford setting aside large parks and plazas only for recreational purposes,
would indeed be more attractive to residents and offices, and thus provide more park and landmark effect...