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Author Topic: Expanding the regional play  (Read 529 times)

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Offline Terring7

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Expanding the regional play
« on: October 22, 2019, 01:29:33 PM »
The greatest gift that Maxis/EA gave us with Simcity 4 is the regional play. Instead of cities in isolation, we have an entire region with plenty of cities to interact with each other. While awesome, it's still limited. For instance, pollution will not cross the city borders and airports will provide support to the commercial zones only in the city they've been build and not it's neighbors as well. And I really hate when I have to build airports in every single city. Why not having airports providing a mayor regional role as well? Why not having hospitals and schools helping the neighboring cities as well? Overall, why not enhancing regional play?

Actually, there is a mod that can do that. The Regional Tracking Mod, made by Daeley. This mod store specific data from your cities and make them available for the entire region to enhance regional play. The mod can be used to have a look at a detailed regional population report and has even been used to donate money from one city to another. So my question is very simple. Can we use the RTM to enhance regional play even more? Can we use it to have airports, seaports, civil services, sport facilities, marinas etc not only on local action but also on regional one, providing support to the neighboring cities as well? For instance, why building airports in every city if we can use the RTM to have one or two for an entire region?

Just asking ()what()
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Offline jeffryfisher

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Re: Expanding the regional play
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2019, 12:27:39 PM »
The Regional Tracking Mod, made by Daeley. This mod store specific data from your cities and make them available for the entire region to enhance regional play.
Were any follow-on mods ever made to use that data? The tracking doesn't do much without lots, cheats etc to effect transfers.
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Offline Terring7

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Re: Expanding the regional play
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2019, 03:45:00 AM »
As far as I know, only those two banks are actually using this mod.
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Offline jeffryfisher

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Re: Expanding the regional play
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2019, 11:10:45 AM »
As far as I know, only those two banks are actually using this mod.
I haven't seen the banks; I'll go look for them to see what they do. My search at the STEX turned up a reward version of the Yuengling Brewery that depends on a regional stat for its trigger.

I sense a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation, but it could be overcome with one cool mod. What would be a high-value use of the tracking info that someone might be willing to implement?

One thought that's been rattling in my brain: I've read reports that something called "extrapolation" can cause commercial demand to fall between the cracks as it is shuffled between neighboring city-sectors. If the region tracking could capture this lost demand (or perhaps all extrapolated demand) and return it where and when wanted, then this RTM might really take off. I can envision a reward called "Vulture Capital Ventures" that becomes available whenever the accumulated regional commercial demand is high. Plopping it in a city would unleash pent-up commercial demand there to help sprout a CBD where you want it.

That would be cool.
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Offline xxdita

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Re: Expanding the regional play
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2019, 02:51:39 PM »
I distinctly remember having this conversation with old friends And what I learned back then was that although we have been able to get certain information concerning regional play, we've never been able to modify it much at all directly. I believe the information is stored within the game's exe rather than any of the dats, making it off-limits (and likely extremely complicated to modify for actual players).

But if you're playing the game with custom content, then none of that should stop you from placing airports and seaports. Neither of these function in the game as they do in the real world anyway.

Offline Terring7

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Re: Expanding the regional play
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2019, 03:46:58 PM »
Hmm, that's sad. Considering what jeffryfisher said about extrapolation, I had high hopes for using this mod not only to get regional airports and hospitals (just some examples) but even even fix the eternal commuting bug.
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Offline Lupin3III

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Re: Expanding the regional play
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2019, 07:15:21 AM »
Hello Terring7, hello to everyone!  ;D
I've been following you for a long time but I've never written in the forum. I've been playing simcity for years and I have some experience although I've never built a mod. I think the regional play is one of the strengths and, at the same time, weaknesses of this game, and everytime I play I always think about how to improve relations between cities and how to optimize connections. It would be nice to get an improvement in this respect, and to give more sense to travel between cities in order to reach important facilities such as airports, docks, hospitals and so on.
Maybe this is a too ambitious goal and it would be nearly impossible to modify such dynamics without accessing to the .exe file, but nevertheless I will follow this page hoping for further updates.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 07:17:06 AM by Lupin3III »

Offline xxdita

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Re: Expanding the regional play
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2019, 10:35:53 AM »
I'm still interested in this topic as well. I don't have any real experience with ports, but the underlying mechanics of regional play has always interested me.

Unless and until a real solution presents itself, I would honestly just recommend finding or creating a 1x1 park lot to serve as a cheat. You can make a seaport or airport cheat lot quite easily this way, but if you do, you will always have to keep the files in your plugin folder, or risk losing entire cities and regions completely.

But this sort of cheat lot will give you as much port capacity as you like, without forcing you to use so much land on real ports.

Offline jeffryfisher

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Re: Expanding the regional play
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2019, 11:56:52 AM »
You can make a seaport or airport cheat lot quite easily...
Actually, ports can be tricky. You're allowed only one master port controller, and it must list every port in the game. So to add a port, you must tinker with your port controller or else replace the Maxis controller with one that defines some extra unused port IDs (and then assign one to your new creation that nobody else will ever use).

BSC released a collection of ports with such a master port controller. There's even a thread around here somewhere that describes how to reconcile PEG ports with it. But don't ever install both PEG and BSC ports unless you know the secret reconciliation dance; doing so could give you two conflicting port controllers, and if a city has ports built with one and is then opened using another, the game can lock and the city can become unrecoverable.

So creating seaport cheat lots might not be perfectly easy if you go about it the wrong way.
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Offline xxdita

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Re: Expanding the regional play
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2019, 11:46:37 AM »
Ugh. Yeah, I do remember that now.

But the main purposes of ports is to provide demand cap relief for Commerce and Industry, which can be done in other ways. Most of the standard rewards do this. I believe a lot of the BSC reward chain does as well. And of course more lots could be modded to fit any specific need.

Personally, I've never reached a point where adding an airport or seaport has been required for growth to continue in my cities, and I try to cram as many Sims per tile as humanly possible.

I think the scale of SC4 airports, even custom, aren't matching up with reality anyway. Orlando's International Airport is 13,302 acres. In my mind, that's at least a small tile of its own in SC4, right?