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Small city advice? Yup, I did say small! ;-)  XML
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Remmo


Joined: 06/07/09 06:36 AM
Messages: 587
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Okay. I love playing cities. I know I'll be hurled out of the nearest window for saying this, but I really don't care what my world looks like from map view. The only time I see map view is when i load the game or check for a click to a venue. When I play The Sims, I'm mainly running around the streets. And the streets is what I'll be concentrating on in my current project.

I'm basically working on a small map (yup, small!), creating a city that will run a dream. I'm enjoying Showtime, so it'll mainly be geared up for players who like the performing arts.

Sure, it won't take 1 or 2 sim hours to travel from work to home, but the quick ride will be cool enough provided your machine can load the lots fast enough.

I do have a number of skyscraper meshes, but it will be ground floor commercial build only. I hate elevators and the stuck sims they often cause! If people want them, they can bulldose and place their favourites.

Most residentials, and I have a good 30+ will be on 20x30 or 30x30 with only a few larger lots reserved for special super stars!

I'll also ditch some of the LN venue types. A couple of clubs plus all the showtime venues makes for a good night out, I think.

So I was wondering if people have come across any small-map cities that they liked and can recommend for me to take a peek at? I've been looking around, but nothing yet? Most have been spaced along medium and large maps.

I'm particularly looking for ingenious uses of space, as I wish to ensure that I leave room for further expansion packs!

If it can be dreamt of, it can be built!!!

EDIT: Gah! Forgot to say, I'm a 3rd party cc free builder, so will only check out 3rd party cc free worlds.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 05/01/12 05:58 PM

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SimRealtor


Joined: 06/09/09 06:34 PM
Messages: 1099
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So I am confused... are you building this world or are you asking someone else to?

SimRealtor
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Rflong7


Joined: 06/01/09 01:51 AM
Messages: 24833
Location:In Shadow Mode C8

Hi,

I think he want's ideas on how to layout a small world city.

I, myself, don't really care for cities so I don't make them. And if you don't mind the shape of the island you can just make it square. You have 4 chunks in a small world- it's not much space but have fun with it.
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Remmo


Joined: 06/07/09 06:36 AM
Messages: 587
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Yup, I build my own. I love working in CaW and have been trying to get this project off the ground ever since LN went live, but I always get distracted by my next idea. As I've done or abandoned all my next ideas, it's finally time to do this one justice

I did indeed go with the square layout as it made the most logical sense for what I wanted to create. I've also kept it mostly flat to enable maximum future lot bulldosing and replacing in EIG as tastes / future expansions require. I did experiment with levels ... (many levels!) but found it just wasn't creating the busy city street feel I want.

Basically, I've gathered together all my thoughs and exeriences of playing/building and the issues they throw up over the last few years and stitched them together to lay the foundations of this small world.

I just can't believe I'm the only one out there making a small city!? Surely there are other beautifully crafted small cities from which to draw inspiration?? Or at least I hope so. And if there's not, anyone else also fancy taking up the challenge? I'd love to compare notes on how we're tackling this.

Please don't get me wrong, for me this isn't about just throwing down a few streets and lots on a small map to achieve results quickly. It's about creating a busy city feel that's awesomely small and infinitely playable *Austin Powers music in background!*

Anyhow, i'll post pics once I get further down the line and settle on archetectual style. As usual for me, I tend to go for more city modern than american country house. But never say never!
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geminiagre


Joined: 05/17/09 12:21 AM
Messages: 6725
Location:Lurking in the shadows behind you, roasting horse fertilizer on the fire pit
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I don't like cities either. They are nice to look at, and fun to play for a little while, but since i live in one irl, i prefer the suburbs, or exotic /fantasy type of stuff.
I'm pretty sure you are the first one trying to build a full fledged city in a small map. This should be a real challenge

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Sneakfeline0


Joined: 08/10/09 10:37 PM
Messages: 1230
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I can't say that I've seen any small cities really, small towns yes. My 1st world was on a small map, but anything since has been large with a couple of mediums thrown in.
Keeping it mainly flat should allow for some extra room for lots. Good luck
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Virvatuli


Joined: 05/29/09 01:12 PM
Messages: 165
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I'm currently working on a small map, and it is indeed [i]small[i]. Even a 30x30 lot is quite big on a small map, and if you want to fit in several dozen of them, it will be tricky. Make sure you have enough room before you start building! It'd be a shame to realize halfway through that the map's not large enough. I'd use at least a medium map to get the city feel, but I'm sure you can create it on a small map with plenty of planning and good ideas. It's probably not going to be easy, but it's a very neat concept and the outcome could be great indeed! Best of luck!
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tjstreak


Joined: 07/19/09 11:43 AM
Messages: 797
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You don't see many cities because cities are hard to do. I suspect they may be impossible to do without the liberal use of custom content. I also suspect that this is true for small cities as well.

By the way, I consider Bridgeport to be a small city. The NY,NY world by Manustyle, or even my eternal WIP world, Rain City, are large cities.

An idea I have kicked around is making a single neighborhood in a city. After all, most big cities are just collections of neighborhoods.

For example, doing the area around Central Park in New York City. There is basically a big park in the center of the neighborhood which dominates the world. Inside the park is an art museum: the Met.

Roads border the park and there are buildings on the other side of the park. There also may be a road or two going through the park.

The area on the other side of the park would be pretty dense with buildings. The vast majority of these would be deco buildings (cc). I would have some basic shops in the area, some of which would be rabbithole replacements (more cc).

At various spots I would have subway stations or bus stops which are meerely rabbithole replacements masquerading as bus stops and subway stations. Thus, when your sim vanishes into one of these subway stations or bus stops, the game thinks he is at work, but to your eyes, he has just entered a subway station to commute to work. Of course, this involves more cc.

The area outside of the world would consist of my flat distant terrain. (Even yet more cc.) I would place a large collection of city deco buildings on this flat distant terrain. (mega cc) In the distance, I would have a number of really large skyscrapers, made to scale, like the Empire State. (More cc) I might also make some "flats" to go in the more distant background.

I think the effect of this would be really cool. The distant terrain and deco buildings would create the illusion that you are in a much larger city, with buildings as far as the eye can see. The sims would "go to work" in another part of the city by entering a subway station which is nothing but a disguised rabbithole.

I am not too worried about anyone "stealing" this idea because (1) I have not plans to make it in the immediate future, and (2) it will require a lot of cc, (3) which most people don't know how to make. Quite frankly, if you don't use cc in a project like this, you are just going to end up with a half-assed world.
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Tyr051


Joined: 06/05/09 04:37 AM
Messages: 45
Location:USA
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I've played with making a city on a small (and even tiny!) map, but they never made it into a posting phase. Admittedly, this was because existing distant terrain exists only for large maps. A small city is going to necessarily be an island. I play on a couple of them, but they wern't finished enough for me to publish.

And yes, you absolutely can make a fully fledged city without custom content! You just need to be friendly with testing cheats, buy debug, and a file editor (to specify the city designation - it isn't adding custom content).

I do love playing with small maps, though. They force you to make clear choices in design and gameplay concept.

The main thing to look out for on a small map city is going to be rendering. Having too many things and people so close together can significantly slow down game play and make it choppy.

Best of luck!

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tjstreak


Joined: 07/19/09 11:43 AM
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Tyr051 wrote:A small city is going to necessarily be an island.


No, it isn't. It only has to be an island if you want it to be an island.

Tyr051 wrote:And yes, you absolutely can make a fully fledged city without custom content!.


I am waiting for someone to do it. All efforts to do so have gone down in flames.

What seems to kill city builders is they try to build cites with a gazillion lots. Or they start using cheats like CFE and move objects. They then end up with so much lag that their cities become unplayable. Perhaps, you CAN pull it off with a really small world.

Just saying.
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Virvatuli


Joined: 05/29/09 01:12 PM
Messages: 165
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tjstreak wrote:
Tyr051 wrote:And yes, you absolutely can make a fully fledged city without custom content!.


I am waiting for someone to do it. All efforts to do so have gone down in flames.

What seems to kill city builders is they try to build cites with a gazillion lots. Or they start using cheats like CFE and move objects. They then end up with so much lag that their cities become unplayable. Perhaps, you CAN pull it off with a really small world.

Just saying.


Using CC or making do with what you have are simply two ways of approaching the same problem. With the former, you pour your creativity into the creation of custom objects, and with the latter, you instead use your creativity to create with what you have at hand. The results will be different, but no method will guarantee a better end result. No way is superior to the other. Only the creator's creativity, ingenuity and experience set the limits. Therefore, I think it's a bit (and please excuse me if this comes across the wrong way, it is not intended) narrow-minded to say that you can't create something with or without CC. We all prefer different methods, and while we can tell others about how we do it so that they can learn from our experience, we should not tell others it's impossible or not as good to do it in a way different from our own. Just my 50 cent!

So, what I want to say to the OP is: consider carefully if you want to use CC or not, and which limits/problems both options entail. Then choose the one you think you'll enjoy most! What is most important is to make an informed choice, something based on your own preference and not the opinion of others. Good luck with your world!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 05/04/12 03:07 PM

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Tyr051


Joined: 06/05/09 04:37 AM
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Location:USA
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tjstreak wrote:
Tyr051 wrote:A small city is going to necessarily be an island.


No, it isn't. It only has to be an island if you want it to be an island.

Tyr051 wrote:And yes, you absolutely can make a fully fledged city without custom content!.


I am waiting for someone to do it. All efforts to do so have gone down in flames.

What seems to kill city builders is they try to build cites with a gazillion lots. Or they start using cheats like CFE and move objects. They then end up with so much lag that their cities become unplayable. Perhaps, you CAN pull it off with a really small world.

Just saying.



My city San Simando is fairly tight, but it took two years to get it that way. As you say, the problem is in trying to build with a gazillion lots that are all right on top of eachother. That's why I eventually went with a large lot for that city - it allowed me to have open spaces and made the game run smoothly. I also didn't use custom content. I invite you to check it out! There are certainly a few places I would tweak in a second release, but they are just decisions that I've changed my mind about (e.g. whether a particularl area is routed for movement or not). Anyhow, I know I'm not the only one who has put out a city that hasn't resulted in tears and flames. But I can at least speak from personal experience that it can be done and has been done.


So in regards to your comment about the tiny lot only being an island if you want it to be...
It has been my experience that its the only really viable design option given the size of the map and the motion of the camera. The map isn't big enough to control the camera's perspective from showing ocean when the camera is looking top-down, and none of the in-game long distance terrain maps are made to line up with anything smaller than a large map. I've been working on a mediterrainian island city on a small map with the long distance terrain from Bridgeport as a far away mainland, but thats about as good as I can manage.

I'd definately be interested in a way to use a small map with non-custom distant terrain! If I've missed it, please point me in the right direction - it would be awesome.

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Remmo


Joined: 06/07/09 06:36 AM
Messages: 587
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Hehe, thanks for your advice guys. And tyr, I like that you put two years of work into one map and made it playable. That's a lot of love you gave there!

Keeping things smooth running is of course the goal of building the small map, and yes, I've found routing then becomes your enemy and lag feind! But I'm very thorough in keeping an eye on those little red and blue lines that wire their way unseen through our worlds. Have just pulled the plug on one that I'd spent the best part of 20+ hours starting due to seeming incomprehensible routing on a couple of key bridges (even though the routing showed clearly unbroken). My new one has dumped the fancy bridges!

I also considered using the larger lot sizes to enable better fluidity of the world, but then I came a cropper as I want my world to play primarily for Show Time. Putting rabits onto the larger lots took away the key venue tags that showtime uses which I can see causing problems further down the line. The ones I have are also trying to hold places for future unknown content. For example, I have both the Showtime Big venues when only one is strictly 'needed', but then in the future I can still bulldose one to make room for the next insanely large shell that EA gifts us
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Remmo


Joined: 06/07/09 06:36 AM
Messages: 587
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On the CC front, it's a no brainer for me. It's not my thing. It's also not my goal. I'm very much focusing on what my sim sees from eye level and I actually enjoy using the tools we have to creat environments.

Further, I have a pretty decent machine and in a city environment not that much actually get's loaded, even less when you're zipping through it on your wheels! As I mentioned earlier, map view does not concern me at all.

Same for distant terrain. Although it would be lovely to have for a small world and I'd encourage EA to make it for us, it's not going to be a big part of my city game.

Interesting points though
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