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Author Topic: Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.  (Read 10993 times)

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Offline BarbyW

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Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.
« on: January 28, 2007, 06:16:02 AM »
If you are making lots for just your own pleasure or for your own CJ this does not apply to you. It is aimed at people who intend to share their creations with others and wish to avoid a number of problems.

Skill level: Intermediate

    * 1. First of all check to see if you have any of the following in your plugins folder:
      merged.dat
      plugin tree or bush.dat
      Plugin_B90_residentialbuildings_prop_modd.dat
      Plugin_B91_commercialbuildings_prop_modd.dat
      Plugin_A80_PlugModd_functional.dat
      Plugin_020_PlopLandmarks.dat
      Plugin_RCI_Buildings_Prop_Modd.dat
      Also any other of the old buildings as props files by ralphaelninja

      If you do PLEASE delete them and make sure you have these instead:
      bldgprop_vol1-SimCity 4 Building as Props
      bldgprop_vol02 - Rush Hour Building as Props


Also check that you have the latest version of prop packs especially the BSC ones as many have been amalgamated into MEGA packs. Do not keep outdated packs of either props or textures in plugins as conflicts can occur.
Do not lot with dats that you may have packed yourself for playing. There is no BSC.dat in existence. You MUST lot with the single prop/textures packs as installed originally.

    * 2.   It is recommended that you start lotting with the minimum amount of custom content in your plugins folder. Only add prop packs if you need to for some specific props and then try to use more than one prop from a pack.

    * 3.   Try to keep to easily available props. People may be put off if you choose props from foreign, particularly Japanese, sites as they may be intimidated if they do not speak the language.

    * 4.   The lot should only be big enough to present the building with suitable, relevant and attractive surroundings. Props added should enhance the BAT and not overwhelm it.

    * 5.   Choose the correct type and level of basic lot when starting. For example if you are making a landmark start with a Landmark lot and change the building. If making a growable, choose the correct type and wealth level for your building.

    * 6.   Props should be used as sparingly as possible to keep the count down. Use grouped props whenever possible and use prop families for variety. Too many props not only affect game performance but can also give a cluttered look to a lot.  There is also a limit to the number of lot objects allowed in LE. Lot objects include base textures, overlays as well as props. If you exceed the limit you may find things disappear in game. In general, less is more.

    * 7.   Transit enabling should only be used for rail lines unless it is vital to the lot. Although aesthetically pleasing, it is not recommended for normal usage and never for growable lots as they do not upgrade if transit enabled.

    * 8.   Recycle available buildings by making new exemplars in SC4PIM. When making exemplars, name them appropriately so you can find them in LE. Remember that you may not include the original models in your upload and so should note any you make new exemplars for as dependencies.

    * 9.   Make the appropriate building in the SC4PIM. For a hospital, make a hospital exemplar and then SC4PIM can make you a correct lot.  Make a note of which building you used as it will not show in a dependency report but is a dependency. If the model is not present, a big brown box will appear.

    * 10.   When choosing base and overlay textures, be aware that the fifth digit of the IID of the texture relates to wealth level of the lot. This is quite a complex issue; I recommend reading the first page of posts in the BSC Texture Index thread at Simtropolis.  Also make sure you have requested a range of IIDs from geoffhaw if you intend to make your own textures.
      Basically if you choose a base texture for low wealth from a set (a set has the same first four digits) that also has medium and high wealth textures, for a medium wealth lot the game will display the medium wealth texture from the set. If the texture is not in a set, it does not matter, nor does it matter if the fifth digit is 4 to F.

    * 11.   Make sure there is only one base and one overlay per tile. If textures of either type are doubled, either one or the other may show and cause graphic problems in game.

    * 12.   When you have finished save your new lot with a suitable name.

    * 13.   Use SC4PIM to adjust some properties of ploppable lots. Do not set the properties at a radical level as this can affect other lots in a city. The most useful changes are to add the LTEXT files for the User Visible Name Key. Do not change properties to unbalance the lot as this can seriously damage a city.

    * 14.   Make sure the growable name reflects its type, wealth level and stage of growth and that the same properties match in the LotConfig Exemplar.

    * 15.   For make a Readme file. It does not have to be HTML but should include basic information on the lot and what is is and also a list of dependencies with links to their download.

    * 16.   Finally make sure you test your lot in game so that it does not unbalance the game.


« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 01:24:25 PM by BarbyW »
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Offline sam

Re: Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2007, 06:37:08 AM »
Nice tutorial Barby, thanks  :thumbsup:

Could I suggest adding a space between the points though to make them a bit easier to read?

Number 16 would be a good idea for a tutorial in its own right. But even some additional pointers on what to look for might be also helpful, as some things can be difficult to detect, especially for people new to lot testing.

Offline BarbyW

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Re: Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2007, 07:23:34 AM »
It actually had spaces between the points when I typed it in Word but lost them here. I have added them.
This is basically a lotting tutorial. I agree that more information on modding needs to be available and will try to write something up. So many things, so little time. ::)
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Offline jeronij

Re: Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2007, 09:00:07 AM »
I have added some visual effects to try to enchance its readibility. I hope you dont mind  ;)
I think this is a quite well structured and useful tutorial, so I wanted to make even more useful. I hope I did.
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Offline BarbyW

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Re: Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2007, 09:37:12 AM »
Thank you, Jeroni. It looks much better now.
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Offline moganite

Re: Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2007, 11:46:09 AM »
thats excellent i was looking for something just like it.

 what if the lot was for a specific purpose like the bomb lots or the bomb lot that looks like a park? If it has a purpose that is missing in the game there is no preciedent for it and thus no stats to guide.

This looks like a subset of the guidelines on how to make good custom content. thats something we also need a guide on whats need for creating decent CC.
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Offline Naryanna

Re: Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2007, 07:04:20 AM »
This tutorial or adices are very very useful. It helped a lot! Thank you very much for writing it! &apls

Offline sarungman

Re: Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2007, 06:26:31 AM »
where is LE??? is that another tool?
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Offline wouanagaine

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Re: Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2007, 06:47:28 AM »
LE stand for Lot Editor and it is a maxis tool. You must be registered to http://simcity.ea.com/ to get a copy here :
http://simcity.ea.com/coolstuff/loteditor/loteditortool_01.php
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Offline sarungman

Re: Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2007, 10:35:15 AM »
yup, roger dat!!! :thumbsup:
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Offline Cali

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Re: Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2007, 01:13:38 PM »
i love playin with lot editor alot, these are some good pointers, theres even a couple i didn't know, thanks barby :thumbsup:
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Offline Pat

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Re: Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2007, 02:29:32 AM »

TY Barby this has helped me out BTW when reading your tut on lotting and with that i hope you will
find when i release PPM on the stex it would be of quality and almost everything you suggested  ;) - pat

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Offline glepet

Re: Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2007, 10:22:30 PM »
Thanks for the great advice, BarbyW. I'm about to get my feet wet with Lotting and any all help is appreciated.

Edit: Also, I read somewhere that if we are interested in creating something to be shared that we need to get unique IID's? That somebody on here is keeping track of what's in use?
« Last Edit: June 07, 2007, 07:50:28 PM by glepet »

Offline flame1396

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Re: Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2007, 11:46:52 AM »
Nice tutorial Barby, thanks  :thumbsup:

Could I suggest adding a space between the points though to make them a bit easier to read?

Number 16 would be a good idea for a tutorial in its own right. But even some additional pointers on what to look for might be also helpful, as some things can be difficult to detect, especially for people new to lot testing.

Look for texture issues (especially if using transparent textures), also check for query issues, if modded check to make sure the values are how you expected. Finally run the game for a few months to make sure nothing goes horribly wrong (mass abandonment, mass pollution, graph screwups, etc.)
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Offline skyjuice

Re: Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2007, 09:45:20 AM »
Is there a beginners tutorial if i want to make a building. i never did anything like it before. What i need to get started and further info . Please.


p

Offline RippleJet

Re: Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2007, 11:44:36 AM »
Yes, Philippbo's BAT Essentials.

Offline skyjuice

Re: Guide to good lot making practices for sharing with others.
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2007, 01:35:08 AM »
Great, Thanks.