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City Showcase (All games welcome) => Mayors' Diaries => Topic started by: mattb325 on March 17, 2019, 01:57:21 AM

Title: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: mattb325 on March 17, 2019, 01:57:21 AM
It's been a while since I've posted an MD.

In fact the last time was when the BSC played the Schozolosa Map. That was 12 years ago. So I think some new MD posts are more than a little overdue  :D

In terms of playing the game, the life a batter/modder/lotter can be vexed. If you are serious about releasing content which doesn't cause problems for others, then every region is a test region and you end up having multiple test regions for different scenarios.

The luxury of having a region just for its own sake is often elusive.

This region, is, like so many others on my PC, a region that is purely for Testing.

(https://i.imgur.com/7Qlpaj4.jpg)

The testing in this case was making Bats that over time, helped undo broken demand due to playing style.

Many players often use ploppable lots with jobs to get the desired look and feel of their cities: be it Commercial or Industrial (Residential really don't work, even though you can plop  in them in such a way that they won't abandon). Others use radical demand mods to continually tell the simulator to max out demand in every category.

Now I'm not criticizing that practice, but plopping a skyscraper district, or an industrial port without sufficient region-wide demand to support the jobs leads to inevitable problems such as demand tanking. Most of the Reward and Transit Bats that I have been releasing over the last couple of years are designed to help fix these problems while also enabling the user who doesn't need any help in their region to maintain balanced growth.

*************************************************************

So when I started this region, I deliberately plopped lots of commercial areas in the middle of the map, and a port on the eastern side of the bay.

Now it is important to note I was zoning residential all the while and making sure that there were neighbor connections, but predictably I tanked my CO$$, CO$$$ and I-M demand by the second tile played and it has taken until the above image to play out to a point where demand is back to normal. To get my demand back, I placed all the rewards that were offered in game, as well as the rewards that I have been making.

Each tile is different in terms of rewards placed, and also crucially, I used my multifunction stations to really push growth and development higher.

That isn't the point of these postcards, they are just pictures to show the sort of work that goes on in a test region. Today, I'm showing images in the tile marked with the red arrow: the first tile where demand has returned to normal after plopping CO and IM districts.

Now that regional demand is normalised, here are some random pictures from around town. I'll keep posting from each tile as I do further testing. Even though they are just test regions, the point is to still make them look nice.  :)

Enjoy  :popcorn:

(https://i.imgur.com/LLkSvkN.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Ly5AIss.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/9kNvpIE.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/bO2CPcs.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/KeGQzfZ.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/aLhfpKN.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/EHodF9M.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/RGoc3Eg.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/DoNkLud.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/KTvg1DG.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/BMcEoyS.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/eHiIyXe.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/TpGtE4p.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/m3ZKy87.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/EVo68Be.jpg)

 :satisfied:
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: tomvsotis on March 17, 2019, 02:11:08 AM
This looks ace, Matt! Your BATs are always lovely, so I guess it shouldn't be any surprise that your region is just as elegant :)

And I'd def be interested in hearing more about the interplay between plopped commercial/industrial lots and demand!
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: art128 on March 17, 2019, 03:43:16 AM
Great to see you doing some MD entries! The pictures you posted are seriously cool.  &apls &apls
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: bladeberkman on March 17, 2019, 03:56:48 AM
Great getting to see you play with your own toys, as it were.  &apls And if I’m not mistaken, I think I’ve spotted some unreleased content.  ::) Very nice balance of densities and civics.
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: Tarkus on March 17, 2019, 04:18:30 AM
A Matt B. MD? :o  This is going to very quickly become appointment reading here. :thumbsup:  The region you have looks really quite amazing--puts my "test region" to shame.

-Alex
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: Silur on March 17, 2019, 05:26:39 AM
I see fuzzy and twisted buildings-it's so unusual... I'm just enjoying it!!!  &apls :thumbsup: &apls
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: Alan_Waters on March 17, 2019, 05:46:43 AM
The city looks amazing. Everything is smooth, balanced. Immediately it seems that Sims are happy in it.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: Kitsune on March 17, 2019, 08:16:20 AM
.. thats a test region? Really ? gezz ... like Tarkus said that puts our test regions to shame. Also ... I tend to do the plop jobs thing .. except I mod a park to do jobs and manually set the demand graphs. Sandbox mode if you will.
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: evarburg on March 17, 2019, 09:35:50 AM
ooooh, a Mattb 's MD ! (“All regions are test regions”, God yes ! Even when one is not a batlotmodder. Some of us just want to test the new stuff they find “to test before using it in my new region” ; alas, many of my test tiles always seem to run away from me and end up being a city or a town...)

This incipient MD is very enlightening. I itch to begin a new region just seeing your stuff thus displayed. I'm always thinking one can build a whole map with your creations : obviously, it IS feasible.

BTW : I (think I) get why the pics are fuzzy but I must confess I am frustrated...  ;)
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: 89James89 on March 17, 2019, 03:00:45 PM
Oh right so the images are meant to be fuzzy (or are we just meant to figure out how to not make them fuzzy lol  ;) ).

Either way they all look amazing, even for a test region, love the mix of densities and the huge amount of variety in the stuff there and am eagerly awaiting more!
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: fantozzi on March 17, 2019, 03:18:34 PM
Can it be I see some buildings I don't know about? I need to study those postcards more.   :squirrel:
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: noahclem on March 17, 2019, 07:31:24 PM
What an exciting development  :bnn:  I've long been curious about how you play, having seen occasional in-game pics but never seeing them in regional context with details of your thoughts on playing. Seems we may get to better understand the uses of your plethora of custom-modded content--but perhaps more importantly, see some outstanding-looking cities! Really impressive shots you have; one would never imagine they're "just" testing cities ;)  Looking forward to more  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: metarvo on March 17, 2019, 10:24:05 PM
Nice start to this MD Matt!  I don't recall ever seeing a test-region MD before, but of course I would've never guessed this was testing had you not said so.  How innovative!  :thumbsup:  The residential neighborhood honestly looks like one I might build; I see plenty of familiar houses that develop in my cities a lot.  I fully anticipated some grid-busting, so this MD introduction did not disappoint.  Also, is that HSR I see?  I don't see that too often; nice!

 &apls
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: PaPa-J on March 18, 2019, 01:00:48 PM
This is very interesting.  It looks really far and balanced.  I, to, am wondering about what looks like new material.  Are we going to get flooded with new releases?  I hope so!  HEHEHE.
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: mattb325 on March 18, 2019, 04:02:58 PM
Thank you all for the lovely welcome to the MD section.  ()stsfd()


Replies:

tomvsotis: thankyou! the whole aim of this test region is to reveal ways that I have gleaned over the years to play-out negative demand effects, hopefully I'll be able to give some insight to others
art128: thankyou! glad you like the pictures; photoshop effects can be polarising, but I hope to give this MD its own 'feeling' by doing it.
bladeberkman: thankyou! You won't believe it, but I have seen in those pictures some more old gmax stuff that I forgot to release from the vault...as if 50 or so last year wasn't enough. lol
Tarkus: thankyou! I have only a couple of 'real' regions on my PC (schozalosa being one and the challenge with mrbisom being another) - all the rest end up being tests with broken or corrupted tiles from modding experiments gone awry. Thankfully its only pixels on a screen and no sims are actually harmed in the process
Silur: thankyou! Fuzzy and twisted is my reality....that's when I do my finest work  ;)
Alan_Waters thankyou! The sims are happy in this one; demand and employment seem to be back under control and I'll hopefully show ways to achieve that
Kitsune: thankyou! I have a couple of those parks, too. Not quite so radical, but to help keep R$$ demand high. I use them when all else fails  :D
evarburg: thankyou! There's heaps of my bats, obviously, but I hope to showcase many other creators here as well. My plugins is approx 5gb
89James89: thankyou! I like to try and keep it varied, but even with 5gb, it's amazing how often the same things grow...such as wren insurance  :D
fantozzi: thankyou! There'll be some content in here that I haven't yet released, but if see something specific, let me know  ;)
noahclem: thankyou!  Hopefully this will show my process and why I make some of the bats. I'm hoping that by playing out this region in public, it will give a bit of inspiration for new bats/mods to help deal with issues that arise
metarvo: thankyou! It is HSR. I really enjoy it, and seeing I made all those multifunction bats, it would be a shame not to use them
PaPa-J: thankyou! There will definitely be new bats, probably no flood, more a steady flow  :D




So, I have a few busy days ahead in RL, but I want to post some more pictures.

This is one of the first cities I plopped commercial buildings (CO$$$) in. It is very obvious which ones I plopped. I knew that plopping these treasures too early on would lead to demand issues, but I had to have these beauties in my region, anyway.   ;)

We are here:
(https://i.imgur.com/MyrJ2e1.jpg)

So in the following pictures, you will see both plopped and grown towers, as the purpose of this region is to see what happens when you throw the simulator out of whack. This tile did have awful unemployment/abandonment, but after getting the demand back to balance, everything seems quite OK. I didn't plop too many towers, maybe only six or so, but that was enough for supply to outstrip demand. The eagle eyed amongst you will see which of my bats I'm using to correct the demand....I'll discuss the technical stuff a bit later, but for now, here's some pretty pictures showing some of the work of the finest batters in the community who have given us towers of beauty.

Enjoy....  :popcorn:

(https://i.imgur.com/uSpTH2H.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/CgFek77.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/OPSYJKi.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/pEdx4tP.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/SzKlgMY.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/bs7iGZU.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/4Fb7RyJ.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/zyF4ESK.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/7vvXBYF.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/dzeIfKa.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/cOeWKwo.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/VAivwKJ.jpg)

 :satisfied:
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: luvs2draw on March 18, 2019, 09:31:26 PM
Hello Matt,

Love the pic's, looking GRAND. I have learned by looking at yours and other creators the I don't need to cover my regions with everything. I have been leaving sections open and building with more of a flow to my cities.
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: c.p. on March 18, 2019, 10:39:46 PM
That's way more advanced (and beautiful) than my test regions.  I'm looking forward to seeing what insights you come up with. :popcorn:
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: mattb325 on March 22, 2019, 05:39:58 PM
Replies:

luvs2draw: thankyou! It does take take some discipline to know when to leave some undeveloped space on the map. Thankfully, the task is made easier with all of the wonderful MMP items we have these days
cp: thankyou! it's a huge map...sometimes I just get tired looking at it :D



If there is one small insight I can give is to be very careful with the type of map you use. I always look for maps with a mix of small, medium and large tiles. Maps with only large tiles can cause you to inadvertently create the commuter bug when making neighbour connections unless you are certain to only run the connection in the centre of each tile. Eternal commuters cause havoc with demand.

So today we're off to the other side of the map.

(https://i.imgur.com/5aqF6my.jpg)

This, like much of the coastline on this map, has been squared off by the map-maker and just screams industrial port placement.

Each of these docks are I-M ploppables.

(https://i.imgur.com/BquNOD9.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/wOx3qmN.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/57n3Fvu.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/R1IG9XH.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/wUeZg7d.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/lE0x6Z8.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/pzPSFh9.jpg)

But, as this is still very early on in the region, I will need some residential and commercial to support the industry. A charming commercial area surrounded by piers and wharves:

(https://i.imgur.com/ezwwbEb.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/M6oD9cj.jpg)

And a residential area takes off in between the industrial port on the sea-ward side and the commercial piers on the bay-side:

(https://i.imgur.com/sIIMltk.jpg)

Those plopped wharves have caused my I-M to tank, but industry all looks so pretty at night....

(https://i.imgur.com/POQNpt5.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/6jdbLnb.jpg)

I'll have to start correcting demand soon  :P




Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: Alan_Waters on March 22, 2019, 06:06:11 PM
Great!  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Everything seems so simple, but looking closer we see that everything is extremely realistic and natural.
Bravo!  &apls &apls &apls
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: AsimPika3172 on March 22, 2019, 09:40:24 PM
Awesome!!!  :thumbsup:  &apls  &apls  &apls  Keep moving forward!  :D
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: fantozzi on March 23, 2019, 03:20:56 AM
This is really a nice MD to study. It's a perfect example that you can't build a natural (indeed!) looking city by only plopping those "divas" those iconic buldings but always have a lot of generic building around. Look there's place for everything - the old little towenhouses, the shopping centers, the skyscrapers all doing well together. It looks like a long grown city. Always some empty spaces here and there.

Never to forget - 10 years ago this game was looking like that:

(https://www.dedoimedo.com/images/games/simcity-burgeoning-city.jpg)

At the end it were people like you, Matt, changing this game into something so believable - still the most realistic reproduction of real life architecture in all games.

I have a question.

On the first entry, the second picture - behind the hotel by ks_jpn (I can't remember the bat's name atm), there are some white/beige residentials of the same height with a bend. I don't know them. Can you help? Thank you.   
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: art128 on March 23, 2019, 03:57:57 AM
Lots of industries indeed, but that pier is quite nice looking.
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: mattb325 on March 23, 2019, 08:45:17 PM
Replies:

Alan_Waters: thankyou! because it's a testing region, I don't take any time pre-planning, but I still hope that it is a believable result  :)
AsimPika3172: thankyou!  ()stsfd()
art128: thankyou! I like the little commercial strip...reminds me of the victorian-era fascination for trips to the seaside
fantozzi: thankyou! The game certainly has changed (for the better) I prefer to have the game grow things. It's generally easier and you do get the element of chance. The building you are referring to is the Maxis McCormack Apartments that I have relotted.



As a special bonus, for CJ readers, I'll attach the relot of the McCormack apartments here. In my opinion it is one of Maxis' better bats (they are all pretty good, even after all of these years) but this one was let down with poor lotting.

It goes from this:
(https://i.imgur.com/QxaSzvZ.jpg)

To this:
(https://i.imgur.com/4Ybh30w.jpg)

I lotted this years ago for my personal use, but it is was all done with the PIM-x, so stats are reasonably balanced. As you can see from the images, it does grow.

The lot size is 6x6 (all tilesets) R$$ residents 3,699

Dependencies - any of you who have downloaded my lots should have all of these:

*CP textures Vol01
*CP MEGA Props Vol1
*CP MEGA Props Vol2
*SG MEGA Props Vol1
*Mattb325 Props Vol2
*Mattb325 Props Vol3
*Maxis Buildings as props vol2


Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: PaPa-J on March 23, 2019, 09:02:14 PM
Beautiful re-lot.
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: Alan_Waters on March 24, 2019, 04:49:28 AM
Matt, maybe because there was no special planning and it turned out so naturally as in real cities?  ;)
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: PaPa-J on March 24, 2019, 08:43:29 AM
Matt, maybe because there was no special planning and it turned out so naturally as in real cities?  ;)
:laugh:   So, are you saying that there is no natural planning in the real cities?  If so, I can believe it.  LOL
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: fantozzi on March 24, 2019, 01:35:04 PM
Matt, maybe because there was no special planning and it turned out so naturally as in real cities?  ;)
:laugh:   So, are you saying that there is no natural planning in the real cities?  If so, I can believe it.  LOL

Oh! Philosophy?  :clap: I would say "planning" is a typical cultural achievement and "natur" and "planning" are more likely contradictions. Often you excuse inappropriate behavior with "nature" - the hormones, the animal inside, the uneducated -> far from culture. Nature seems more to be the trial and error queen, the capricious - giving birth to a hunderd of species, snoopy if one of them accidentally survives. On the other hand planning can work with pattern - culture can think of nature as an antetype for strategies, get models from nature.

There is this small but enlightened writing  by Heinrich von Kleist called "On the Marionette Theatrer (http://www.virtually-anything.org/kleist.pdf)" which deals exactly with this problem how can be a planned behavior be a natural behavior and this strange "blindess" or "unconsciousness" or "innocence" you need to act naturally. A fascinating problem.
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: evarburg on March 24, 2019, 08:28:25 PM
(Had time to visit more at leisure --entries 2 & 3) Wonderful third entry (the port industries). It is really fascinating to see how you do things --either “innocently” or by design :-), it works ! I kind of feel reassured seeing you put residential zones between commercial and industrial ; I tend to mix them even more (does wonder for traffic). I do believe the usual style of zoning, big zones of nothing-but COM or IND or RES is the sort of bias that kills are cities in RL...

BTW What-Is that harbour industry lot in the second picture, after the map, with the blue bales or boxes in the middle and the rounded quays ?

PS : giving us that Maxis relot was mighty generous of you, thanks !
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: c.p. on March 24, 2019, 11:04:34 PM
I agree with evarburg.  The R, C and I meld and flow together "naturally", rather than being isolated from one another in huge blocks, as they might have been if (to sort of extend fantozzi's musings) the development of the region was dictated by some of the planning practices of the past.
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: mattb325 on March 28, 2019, 04:16:51 PM
Replies:

PaPa-J: Thankyou! (x2, lol) Maxis buildings are often overlooked, but really many hold up very well. Indeed, most cities are haphazard
Alan_Waters: Thankyou! I'm not meticulous in my planning....it's whatever fits into the Z4 area of my screen :)
fantozzi: Thankyou! Very true. For this MD, planning, lax as it is, would manifest itself from my own experiences living in various cities
evarburg: Thankyou! I'm glad you like the mix. The building in question is the water pumping part of SOMYs Fukishima nuclear facility http://somy.gozaru.jp/ (http://somy.gozaru.jp/). Scroll down towards the bottom of the page where you can download the files.
c.p.: Thankyou! I don't like things too isolated in RCI and prefer to have everything within reasonable commuting time. Just like in RL, the liveable cities all are easily walkable, cyclable, etc.



For today's entry, we are here, the edges of the map are for farm testing testing:
(https://i.imgur.com/RoKjF0T.jpg)

I always find it enjoyable playing the farming zones. SC4 is relaxing anyway, but the farming zones for me even more so.

The agricultural areas were done after the C and I of the previous entries, and here is another lesson...the game always wants to have sufficient low wealth in each category to support the $$$ elements of each category. If you don't have the low wealth stuff (I-Ag, I-D, R$ and CS$), demand will tank over the mid and higher wealth categories and never recover until you do include $ categories. So my tip is to get low wealth content you are happy mixing in with higher wealth content, or just segregate it on its own tile.

Anyway, onto the pictures.
(https://i.imgur.com/Z3Uy9gL.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/JFDgyiW.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/8QzGzoi.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/TGxjdT0.jpg)

Housing near the river
(https://i.imgur.com/mufeFW6.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/EBmOkl3.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Qu5bdM6.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/buceCvf.jpg)

Non-agricultural jobs provided by the BSC reward farms and reward mills (where the category of demand created = demand satisfied rather than just a plop with jobs or grown jobs that satisfy demand), which doesn't waste any of the commercial demand in such a small population

(https://i.imgur.com/tOukVyi.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/efixaaq.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/KLeWFdM.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/WcwnjPi.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/c4s64gl.jpg)

Enjoy  :satisfied:
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: art128 on March 28, 2019, 05:36:36 PM
Beautiful agricultural tile... I like the way the farms are separated by trees and stuff, very nice.
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: evarburg on March 28, 2019, 09:04:56 PM
Oh I love this -- Farms and open country, (but not industrial agriculture with nothing but giigantic fields and no biodiversity left) that's right down my alley ! (I wish you had made more farms...  ;) )

What do you think of SPAM ? I remember welcoming it with cries of joy because I was so fed up having the agri demand just vanish in favor of farmland-gobbling IND-IND-IND & RES-RES-RES (and commerce, of course). Notwithstanding the need to stay in touch with nature in order to keep a degree of sanity, people need to EAT, and not from outside the SC4 map, food that grows only on urban supermarkets' shelves. That's one of the biases of the original programming (that and cars-cars-cars) that annoyed me no end as SO American (well, USian), especially as I was a country girl in France...
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: 89James89 on March 29, 2019, 03:04:17 AM
Missed a couple of entries and a big thanks for that relot, its looks amazing. I'm with evarburg in the praise of the rural stuff you've shown, they look gorgeous. The regional view also looks really nice. Goes to show that even as a test region, the whole city development bug will bite you anyway (or you just got really lucky with how it looked as you put it together lol). As someone who loves natural growth style CJ's and not that interested in plopping buildings, this is really inspiring and enjoyable stuff!

Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: mattb325 on April 03, 2019, 06:46:55 PM
Replies:

art128: Thankyou! Farms here in Australia tend to be set well back from the street, and despite our atrocious environmental record with land clearing, there are usually trees left along the borders, which is what I've tried to replicate.
evarburg: Thankyou! As this is a testing region, I have limited any mods to the NAM only, or little parks that I use to create a small spike for various sectors, because I don't want any undue influence in ensuring that things grow naturally or behave as I want them to prior to releasing. I do agree however, that it is crazy how quickly I-ag demand evaporates once the city and region gets going.
89James89: Thankyou! The bugs of the game will absolutely bite, so even in a test region, there needs to be balance



A very quick entry today.

We are here:
(https://i.imgur.com/42EZ17u.jpg)

This tile was still done to ensure that regional demand issues could be corrected, and the keen-eyed amongst you will see how many reward-buildings plus the multifunction station that has been added to help balance everything out. At any rate, with summer coming in the Northern Hemisphere (not so where I live.....we had the first snow fall of the season on Saturday afternoon  ::) )a few beach scenes might be in order....

(https://i.imgur.com/HnYQfiI.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/XnTh5Wq.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/kGDnAJj.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/f24HINa.jpg)
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: fantozzi on April 04, 2019, 03:37:32 AM
Oh that wonderfully done bay makes me dream to walk there in the salty breeze and almost I can hear the bickering seagulls thrown up and down by the wind ...
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: evarburg on April 04, 2019, 09:13:51 AM
If I understand your testing process well, (1) you have a big region, with a variety of tiles (big medium small) (2) when batting something knew you (fill) play (which is not quite the same thing) a good portion of a tile, or awhole small tile, to check the overall balance, not only for the tile but for the whole region ?

Asking for a friend whose test tiles too often get away from her  :D

But seriously, when I test stuff (be it yours or anything else), considering my game plugins are different from yours, I should do the same, then ? Or should I have a minimal plugins set dedicated only to testing ? In fact, what IS in your plugins ? (apart from NAM) ; do you have a basic RES-COM-IND set of plugins you use for testing ? Do you use only your bats and vanilla Maxis ? (I'm not sure I see everything well, what with the artistic blurring  :) )

My other question would be : Does SPAM changes the mechanics of the game that much ? It doesn't feel that way when I play (except for the persistence of Agri demand, which doesn't seem to impact IND demand at all.)
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: c.p. on April 04, 2019, 01:24:35 PM
Nice beach :thumbsup:
The blurring makes me feel like I'm speeding through your MD a bit drunk. ?=mad)=
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: mattb325 on April 10, 2019, 04:45:26 PM
Replies:

fantozzi: thankyou! Beach season sadly is well and truly over here, but outside autumn has arrived, right on cue (it will be at its most spectacular by the end of the month)
evarburg: thankyou! There is actually another test region that I use at the moment as well.  $%Grinno$% All my stuff (with the exception of basic growables or basic parks) is tested in two different regions. The other region is just plain maxis only into which I drop a reward or specially modded type building first and foremost. In that region I use no plugins/mods apart from what I intend to test.
As I have made a number of buildings over the years that have quite unique properties, I test there first to ensure that nothing is buggy or has unintended consequences and then I test it in this region.
This region has a full plugins suite. 5+GB...NAM, all the BSC stuff, sfbt, ndex, peg, hkbt, japanese bats, polish bats + so many others collected over more than 16 years.
Each of my lots is tested a further two times in a full game set up (ie it should grow twice or be plopped twice) and then I release it.
Now I test much more extensively than most batters, but obviously I can't test every scenario and as I have said, I keep demand or game altering mods out of my main plugins to ensure that I am in a game scenario that fits most users playing style.
I do recommend people test things that they have downloaded, but these days, well over 90% of things made with the PIM-x tend to work without issue.
It's only the  stuff made with the Maxis PIM, using foreign characters, mistakes in post lot-making modding (such as tweaks being done with the reader/sc4 tool), or a batter/lotter rushing out a creation that cause headaches for the downloader.
c.p.: Thankyou! ...that's why Shaun (diggis) gave me this avatar  :D



So today we're looking at one of those boring tiles in the middle of the map. You know the ones. A mid-sized, flat, land-locked tile that is totally featureless. Nothing inspirational. But for me, playing out my earlier plopping efforts, this is a great tile to soak up another piece of the demanding tanking equation.....Low wealth and transit connections on all four sides.

We are here:

(https://i.imgur.com/zzgb4zL.jpg)

With a tile that is as boring as watching paint dry, I draw two diagonal avenues through the centre of the map to at least provide some visual interest. It crosses rail lines and other networks.

(https://i.imgur.com/YBhGJyW.jpg)

In my plugins I have a lot of low-wealth stuff that appeals to me (I like to keep low-wealth things looking somewhat 'nice', others may want obvious slums, commie blocks, dirty industry, etc...there is plenty of choice) and I recommend while playing that you make a lot of your low wealth historic to ensure it doesn't upgrade. The HK bat team made a lot of tower blocks and I have many of these set for low wealth. It absolutely does the trick by ensuring that you can house huge numbers and low wealth residents don't care about long commutes, use public transport, work in low, medium and high wealth C & I, and, mot importantly, feed into the demand of other sectors.

Obviously these pictures were taken at the end of the session, but the zoning is done first PRIOR to plopping any real services such as education, health etc (water and power are a necessity for density) to force low wealth to grow

(https://i.imgur.com/LZGZQXE.jpg)

You can see Maxis buildings in all of my images as I don't block Maxis (it's a recipe for problems...even after all of these years there is still insufficient stage 1,2 and 3 stuff in all wealth and RCI categories to get a healthy city)

To aid density and demand, I plop one of my multifunction stations:
(https://i.imgur.com/NMfzKGD.jpg)

Then, having marked the low wealth tower blocks I want to keep as 'historic', start placing other services, rewards, and so on. All of my rewards also cater for low wealth sims, and some, such as Madame Tussauds (an alternative to the Llama tourist trap) that was made for situations like these, employ mostly low wealth sims  ;)
Once the other services such as education, health, police and fire, parks and rewards are placed, development in other sectors takes off and the tile is far more balanced:
(https://i.imgur.com/AjE2nJF.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/mSHVFc2.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Gx8pwTG.jpg)


Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: evarburg on April 10, 2019, 10:24:41 PM
It's not a boring place in your city, it just looks... plausible ! :) And yes, balanced.

I usually only keep Maxis Comm & Ind when I begin a tile -- but my cities are small or medium town which begin with Agri and CP Nineteenth Century Res stuff (or relots of those). It usually works well enough (and then I add you ! ;) ) In fact there is a lot of Custom Low Wealth Res as far as houses go, but of course my problem begins when I need moar LW, i.e. big buildings. I'd forgotten HK, indeed (taking notes !)

A question about “Make Historical” : I do, diligently, but many buildings do update nevertheless ; is it because of imbalance ?
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: fantozzi on April 11, 2019, 02:08:52 AM
Did I see one of my relots?  Wow, this feels like you see yourself on TV!  $%#Ninj2 ?$%kar&%h  $%#Ninj2 In some transmission in a corner for a few seconds ... and you phone everyone you know: "Turn on your TV! Quick. Channel 5! Look there I am!"

"Where? This is Mike Pompeo on an interview..."

"Yes, but behind him, in the crowd. The third person from left - that's me! I'm on TV! I'm on TV!" ...  :D
 

Another one - third picture, left side, behind Huston's viewdeck condos, the grey, a little generic, cigar thing - I don't recognize it. It appears on later pictrues too.

Thank you. I like watching your MD even if scrolling too fast together with the motion blur - I get the feeling I'm falling down from somewhere.

So better scroll slowly through this work of art! Nothing to hurry through.
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: 89James89 on April 11, 2019, 04:53:09 AM
More absolutely gorgeous shots of the city and I like the description of some of you ideas and work behind it. I love how your not afraid to let Maxis grow as well alongside the relotted and bated buildings.

Really nice work!
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: manga rivotra on April 14, 2019, 11:17:17 AM
I understand better now why your wonderful buildings are so useful and become instantly indispensable.
In fact, your understanding of the gameplay is deep and quite impressive, and your involvement in improving it by creating the right/needed buildings is a chance for us all.  :thumbsup:
This MD is indeed very interesting on the technical level (very useful for all those who have some problems to maintain the RCI demand ...... it's happens even to old players  ::)), and also on the aesthetic level.
Indeed, I believe that it is very difficult to create a real city of very high density that is realistic and functional. Maybe because the buildings we have are too iconic and intended for a singular enhancement, but it seems that the way you manage the spaces between these towers (without exaggerating the place of infrastructure), while maintaining a "green touch" , is the solution to achieve this realism.
In fact it makes me want to try the density. Great work !  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: c.p. on April 14, 2019, 11:22:05 AM
The empty map tile may be boring, but there is nothing boring about the developed city.
I use the Make Historical sometimes too, but I'm too lazy to do that for whole streets/blocks, so I just make sure there is some dirty industry or other pollution nearby the residential areas so they don't upgrade.  (I'm a bad mayor, what can I say? :D )  I haven't run a city long enough to know if that will work over the long haul though.  Anyway, this is an interesting MD so far. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: mattb325 on April 15, 2019, 05:37:13 PM
Replies:

evarburg: thankyou! The main reason "Make Historical" doesn't work is when the building becomes abandoned for whatever reason. For instance, if you make a med-wealth building historical, but it abandons for high crime, a low wealth building will take its place. That low wealth building subsequently remains historic unless it too abandons.
fantozzi: thankyou! You do indeed spy some of your creations. The building in question is the 'Embassy Apartments' an old low wealth one of mine: https://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=2805 (https://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=2805)
89James89: thankyou! If I blocked Maxis buildings, I know my city would stall at certain points as there still isn't enough custom content available to fill all of the low stages  :o
manga rivotra thankyou! The BSC always lived by the mantra of playing the game and making buildings/lots/mods that way, rather than doing exact recreations or endless skyscrapers. When I do make buildings, even recreations, I will always make sure that playability and function are paramount and tweak the building to fit the game.
c.p. thankyou! I have areas of dirty industry and no health care etc...I was experimenting with buildings that had a very small depressing effect on surrounding desirability when placed (such as a hospital building that, while making the overall city tile better, made the immediate few squares surrounding the building less desirable), but the squeals from forums were so loud, well, I shelved it  $%Grinno$%



Another quick one today. The theme is: repetition.

It's the bane of most players....the same building popping up over and over. Sometimes it's good, sometimes not so enjoyable. CS is the biggest culprit as it has no real cap; I don't know why Maxis made it that way. Perhaps it was done to ensure the region didn't stall entirely, but they are useful in that they don't provide too many jobs, they like congestion, don't care too much about pollution, and in turn, their presence fuels demand for res.

But like a bad curry, they can repeat  :D

We are here:

(https://i.imgur.com/o2Zuh99.jpg)

CS and CO like airports, even if we mayors don't!

(https://i.imgur.com/RRefXNp.jpg)

This one is like Noah made the city, with two of everything. I got sick of the repetition so plopped reward buildings over the blocks, but you can still see the same building over and over....

(https://i.imgur.com/vsZcn3a.jpg)

Vanderaap, Vanderaap....wherefore art thou....battling simfox apartments  ;)

(https://i.imgur.com/U1J420s.jpg)

But sometimes repetition is a blessing. These terraces grew (one is a res$$ and the other a CS$$) a few streets away from each other, so I bulldozed the buildings in between and made a little park (or common), just like you see in inner city London:

(https://i.imgur.com/Ssr5FOl.jpg)

Even the simfox apartments repeated nicely in that image...now, wheres the ant-acid......
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: art128 on April 16, 2019, 06:20:02 AM
Stunning pictures.

For some building the repetition isn't such a bad thing.... In fact it is more realistic to have some repetition. For instance on those Simfox towers, it seem like a tower block estate that was built in whole.
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: evarburg on April 16, 2019, 07:36:51 AM
Repetition : ah, but without Noah...  ;) Seriously I see so many twin buildings in RL (and so often more, like cookie cutter houses in suburban developments !), that having them in SC4 doesn't bother me so much. But I tend to watch over like a hawk and zap the weediest ones. And then (rather recently...) I learn how to block buildings from reappearing -- I am still mwhahaha-ing.
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: 89James89 on April 17, 2019, 10:43:37 AM
See I really like the 3 apartments in the row, as art said, they look like a tower block. For me the biggest issue would be the red roofed buildings. They seem to be a bit repetitive to me. The Londonesque crescent buildings and the green in between does look rather nice though (though reminds me more of Bath than London  ;D)
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: manga rivotra on April 17, 2019, 02:59:58 PM
I also often have the same feeling about the repetitions of buildings, and sometimes use the tool buldozer furiously in order to don't have 2 times the same lot in the same street  ::).
On the other hand, it is rather realistic to have identical or at least similar buildings in the same neighborhood, especially in modern neighborhoods, where often the only thing that distinguishes 2 buildings face to face is the color of the facade. This helps to create a kind of identity in different neighborhoods and thus generate the "feeling of a city", block after block, i guess.
Your photos are a great example, since each building seems to have found its place naturally, which is particularly remarkable since you play "growing"  :thumbsup:
Sim Fox and Aaron Graham can be thanked for creating identical models with different textures for facades and 45 ° turns that also break the grid. Great pictures again !  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: mattb325 on May 25, 2019, 02:35:16 AM
Replies:

art128: thankyou! I really like the simfox tower blocks and it is very rare that I'll bulldoze them (I usually bulldoze my own buildings first, lol  $%Grinno$%)
evarburg: thankyou! I like the idea of blocking the weediest ones. I usually just fire up the SC4Tool and take a few of the tilesets away from them and that tends to work.
89James89: thankyou! It's amazing that Vanderaap's housing (the red roofed buildings) are still weeds after all of these years. They can really be quite repetitive, and that's after I've restricted them to the Euro tileset only  :D
manga rivotra: thankyou! Repetition still manages to bite all the time, even with >5GB of plugins....wren insurance, paull inc and of course all of the little horrid Maxis CS buildings....still have to find a way to out bat and out compete the Maxis stalwarts  :D



Today's update takes us here:
(https://i.imgur.com/l2GBOUi.jpg)

Not too much to say about this one; lots of suburbia that adjoins more medium density areas; although for this update I'm not really focusing on the houses, there'll be plenty of tiles for that.
While these are technically commuter belt areas, CS$$ stuff really helps keep unemployment at bay. Lots of public transport assists those sims who want to commute...

Overview with clouds  ::)
(https://i.imgur.com/yRzslYE.jpg)

This tile is intersected with a number of avenues to help with traffic:
(https://i.imgur.com/pItd0lx.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/AiFkKYT.jpg)

Lots of CS$$
(https://i.imgur.com/C1nfB0d.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/RKgsjEd.jpg)

A number of Spa's beautiful buildings (come back Spa - and bring Simgoober, JBSimio, Couchpotato, Callagrafx, deadwoods, gascooker, ill tonkso, jen_p, jmyers2043, etc, etc, and so many other awesome batters who made so many wonderful smaller buildings; the game needs you more than ever!) which I have made CS$$ growable grace this avenue. There were a few of the Dick's sporting goods chain along here before I bulldozed all but one. I didn't want a street full of dicks.   :D:
(https://i.imgur.com/zrMQUWZ.jpg)

A quiet corner where I first placed the memorial to Geoff and Barbara (those who have downloaded it may recognize these scene....this is, after all, my testing region:
(https://i.imgur.com/9qcU1k5.jpg)

A corner with a lot of Polish buildings (plus my own) that I have made CS. There must have been something in the water in Poland to produce so many, many, many good batters. That is a country that has truly punched well above its weight in terms of custom content for SC4.  :thumbsup:
(https://i.imgur.com/OnMMA6k.jpg)

Lastly some night shots.
(https://i.imgur.com/POMwZql.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/UEHN92e.jpg)
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: evarburg on May 25, 2019, 09:39:16 AM
I admire how you manage to make the grid look interesting ! And I ardently concur with what you say about SC Poslka (Simtrop' is in the process of repatriating as much as it can from there ; my own Polska folder is over 1 G !!!) And I would join my voice to yours in imploring the great old(er) batters to come back to the fold. But alas, time passes, life happens. I'm afraid SC4 batting is a bit like reading science-fiction (and such genres) : "I used to read a kot of [whatever] when I was young...” --the implicit endinf of the sentence being “but I am an adult now and let go of childish toys” As if creativity, in anything, could ever be a “childish” endeavour. Damn it, I've been playing SC4 since it was in black & white, I still delight in it, and I wish I could learn to bat. (But I will have to be content with lotting stuff !  :)

A question. You say : “I usually just fire up the SC4Tool and take a few of the tilesets away from them and that tends to work.”, to control weedy buildings. Can you elaborate ? (I didn't now that technique. ; and I play wilh All Tilesets)
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: kbieniu7 on June 27, 2019, 12:15:27 PM
What a blurry effect, one can get dizzy looking at those pictures :o Anyway, that's quite nice to look at, all those suburbs in the region view :)
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: mattb325 on May 16, 2020, 09:16:15 PM
Thanks evarburg and kbieniu7. With the SC4Tool (which has a user friendly GUI), it is very easy to simply edit a buildings tilesets. Reducing the number of tilesets that a building can grow on will ultimately reduce the chance of it growing.

Blurry buildings return!

We are here in the test region:

(https://i.imgur.com/HezEG8m.jpg)

As this is a test region, you can see how much larger it is getting. Part of the testing process is when custom content that I intend to release is grown/plopped (particularly stuff that has slightly unusual modding), I will save, exit and then re-enter the city. Bulldoze, save, etc.

This part of the region is more about 'scrapers. Love them or hate them, they are an integral part of the game.

(https://i.imgur.com/Efc75P3.jpg)

The CBD area is on the water (like so many cities around the world)

(https://i.imgur.com/xZrIfvw.jpg)

Here you can see that I've used Reddonquixotes awesome building to straddle and bridge the shoreline.

(https://i.imgur.com/mYyWAJ0.jpg)

It was also this tile that prompted me to make the four extra passenger ferry terminals, as I was sick of seeing the same car/ferry terminals every time I played the game.

(https://i.imgur.com/4ANB9vq.jpg)

This is a large tile, and I rarely give everything over to one style of play. This part of the map has numerous peninsulas and bays which make that sort of delineation easy.

There is a small wooded section that separates the CBD from the inner suburbs to the more suburban sprawl that dominates the region. It is connected by road, rail and ferry.

(https://i.imgur.com/aq85lhG.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/k1FBFF5.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/dfDL8Nf.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/sVLhnNV.jpg)

Because it is so close to the city, property is expensive. And expensive home owners like to play golf, right?

The low density suburbia transitions to medium density stock:

(https://i.imgur.com/dcfJqJP.jpg)

Fun fact, this council building (which I admit  an acquired taste) was inspired by a portable dust-buster  :D

(https://i.imgur.com/7BoYnXj.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/wTY50Zk.jpg)

There is even a cruise ship port and small airport on this tile to ensure commercial offices thrive:
(https://i.imgur.com/ov6dp7P.jpg)

Art galleries keep residential demand high:
(https://i.imgur.com/Mfc1RkV.jpg)

Lastly, a few more images of the down-town areas:
(https://i.imgur.com/nejUFPN.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/6LXJO1R.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/nHAx4Ig.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/F2LCY2o.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/bkI0OLy.jpg)

This is the first time I've been able to grow some of the HKABT mega residentials:

(https://i.imgur.com/HfsYdy2.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/57Nx1Z7.jpg)

And lastly, the view of someone's sky-lounge and pool:
(https://i.imgur.com/VsITk4H.jpg)
Title: Re: Postcards from a Mattb325 Test Region
Post by: art128 on May 17, 2020, 03:49:08 AM
Really cool pictures. Nice to see such a good collection of skyscraper together, specially the less used one.