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Arden Tree Controller Help Desk

Started by vortext, June 01, 2011, 06:42:21 PM

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Hello and welcome. This thread chronicles my modding adventures concerning various new streets. 
Thusfar I have basically done a whole bunch of experiments, detailed below, but my aim is to create a coherent, so-called historic street mod.

Allright, enough with the chit-chat let's get on with it.

Yay, the first override ever. Texture taken from the cp texture pack.

Some hours in photoshop later and one gets this.

And while at it, why not do the other CP texture as well? Also notice the wide curves, the colour difference is a pain to get rid off.

I also did the smallest 'road' textures found in the CP pack, which somehow I don't have a picture of anymore. Now I had three texture sets but this was only the beginning really. At the time I also learned about T21's and incidentally had stumbled across a remarke made by Barby, about the seemingly little know fact growables can be network enabled too. In my mind, this opened up a whole new world of possibilties, the majority of which turned out to be deadends later on. In haste I threw some things together.

Hm, not too pretty but that's what happens when one rushes into action. You do however see the three different CP textures, colour corrected so they would match each other. But the transition between the different street tops, caused by the difference in zoning, is one thing that can't be eliminated. Needless to say it is an eyesore. And so are the empty stretches of sidewalk, even if it would be tiled properly. This whole exercise did however made me realize seamless transitions between streets and lots were possible. For this to happen I again turned to the CP texture pack.

I added 'sidewalks' to the overlays and took a matching green basetexture as sidewalk. I applied the same textures to network enabled lots and finally ended up with something which for me was pleasing to the eye. But it didn't stop me messing around.

Which gave me the idea to turn the whole thing upside down. By which I mean, to ditch the small dirt road and instead make the sidewalk appear as street top surface. The actual street textures now function as sidewalks and a much greater variety in sidewalks can be achieved, since they are wealth dependent.

Like this, agriculture is yellow, residential is green and unzoned is well, unzoned with some speckles on the side. Now it is possible to have seamless transitions and still some variety in appearance.

I was making good progress on this when one night, while lurking in the MD archives I had a brainwave. Wouldn't it be awesome if everything could be covered with mayor-mode ploppables and still be functional? If streets would blend perfectley into their surrounding and together with network enabled lots, everything would fit together and look as wild and as natural as simcity can get? With network enabled lots and T21's, it would be doable. But upon realisation of the tedious work involved, I dismissed the idea as quickly as it came. Only to find myself pondering on it the next few days until finally I thought, why not? At least give it a try. And so I did just that.

Although I still like the idea and the way it came out, with the benefit of hindsight it was pretty crazy, if not sheer madness to do so. Let me explain why.
For starters, the streets added a ton of props, making it a heavy on resources which resulted in a horrible lag. I did think about this beforehand but still, the game became extremely unresponsive and all the sudden prone to crashes, both things I normally don't experience. To check if it wasn't anything else causing this, I removed the T21's and reversed the streets back to plain textures. It made a noticable difference.
Secondly, it only looks good in zoom 2 (or 5, depending how you count). And finally because of the way T21's work, repetition is inevitable unless one makes multiple T21's for every single network tile and every single Network_Place_ID. This would amount to a minimum of 32 T21's just going straight ahead.

Ah well, it was a fun week and it did leave me with all the T21's required for a proper street mod so I began to wonder, what would one see out on the streets during, say the late 17th / early 18th century? Carriages for sure, people walking around, some animals too perhaps. The streets would be flanked by fences, or maybe some low rock walls or just random weeds. I began gathering props and meanwhile polishing the textures a bit. This leaves me at the current state of affairs.

Rural: Dirt top sidewalk, yellow overlays, various T21's

After a suggestion from a friend I'm now adding carriage tracks to the overlays.

Did I mention,  it's an override for SAM 3, PEG Dirt roads. Wide curves look a bit odd.

Residential: Dirt top sidewalk, green overlays, various T21's.

Something made last week, white top sidewalk with two kinds of purple overlay for SAM 7.

So that's it. Basically I've got like 10 different texture sets and all the t21's I could ever wish for at my disposal and still somewhat clueless what to do with it all.  ::)
Well not really but I do appreciate constructive critism and suggestions, so if you have something on your mind, please leave me a comment. Bye for now. 
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana


Wow, that's incredible!  &apls &apls &apls  Really promising stuff. You have so many interesting ideas and your progress so far is really beautiful. Good luck continuing  :thumbsup:


That is by far the most wowtastic modwork I've see for ages, fantastic!

Uhh for the puzzle piece texture mismatch, there's a specified colour shift somewhere which blends them to fix the weirdness.

Thank you for sharing, and good luck in continuing :D

Copperminds and Cuddleswarms


Wonderful, incredible!!

I like the modding work you are doing.  &apls &apls &apls

                                    Links to SC4 websites


Awesome work, It's a good mod  &apls
Click on the banner to see my BATs


@noahclem, hope I can fullfill the promise as I'm sort of wandering from the one thing to the next  :D Also nice tut on the bridges, another annoying detail taken care of :thumbsup:

@JoeST, thanks. Do you happen to know where I could find that colour shift thingy? Right now I've got my own colour correction procedure but it's still a bit off. Would be of great help.

@Kergelen & supremec, thanks you both, glad you like it  :)
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana


I have had no luck searching, you should ask one of the NAMites since they have to do it all the time (relatively). Tarkus/Alex will definitely know, since he's the one that I remember saying there's a 'standard' way of doing it.
Copperminds and Cuddleswarms


That's incredible  :o !! You are doing a stunning job, Congrats  &apls &apls

                                                                                     || Benelux Team || Windows on the World || My Photos on Flickr || Kelis BNL Projects ||


Hey Vortext, very good looking mod. nice to see how it evolved over time.
I had already seen all the pics, but only now, seeing it all in one place, did I realize what a monumentous task you've set yourself in creating your historical street mod.
good work E


@JoeST, will do, thanks.

@kelis, thank you

@TomHood, pretty nice huh? Doesn't look like half years work at all  $%Grinno$% (disclaimer, TomHood has seen most, if not all of the stuff already in private email conversation. He's also the one to suggest adding tracks)

Small update

As said earlier, I'm adding tracks to the overlays for which I took ALN gravelpaths as basic material to start from. As a side-effect I now also have these as an override, minus the wide curves

I kinda like this minimal look for unzoned streets and will see how to incorperate it into the existing textures coming weeks (i.e. how to make the transition to zones as smooth as possible and adjust colours).
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana


Wow, that looks amazing, though the big intersection, (diagonal T + ortho) texture doesnt make much sense....Very nice though :)

Copperminds and Cuddleswarms


@ Joe, glad you say so, wasn't too sure about it either. Since there's not too much space, it was the hardest tile to make, i.e. to get all the different directions to line up properly and still make it look smooth. It will, together with a few other tiles, get a do-over. And after a colour correction I'm hoping it will look like less of a mess  ;)

time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana


well maybe with such a busy intersection trying to plot the different possible paths is not the way forward, just make a dirt patch or something.
Copperminds and Cuddleswarms


Wow, really nice stuff here! Very creative and useful, keep the good work up! :thumbsup:
Has it really been almost 2 years?
Must return. :)


Very nice work. If I were you I would try and find a way to make them new streets, as to work along-side and not overwrite the current SAM streets. I don't know how to do this... I'm sure it's possible but I'm just throwing ideas out there. :P



Excellent work on these. They should add some excellent rural variety to the SAM when they're done.


This is looking great, and your results are just what I need for my MD.  ;) I see you started out with one of cp's textures, which just happens to be the same I have been using to make my streets. And on a side note yours look a lot better than mine do.
I do like the fencing idea, but as now it is looking a little like a racetrack for horses rather than something you would see in the 17th and 18th century. I would think the fencing  would need to be outside the "pavement".
I have been thinking I should take some time sooner or later to start fixing my own mod's, but seeing your work here I don't think it is necessary any more. :thumbsup:


@ Joe, maybe, but I do like to preserve discarnable tracks. I've done some experimenting with colour & transparency and it sure helps blending the tracks into the dirt top.

@ Ciuu96, thanks, will do  :)

@ marsh, when learning about all this I've looked into that but it entails some technicallities which are beyond me (creating a new SAM texture range and proper pathing for instance). However if there's enough interest from the community it may be worth while ensuing but for now I focus on texturing.

@Matt, thanks, glad you like it.

@kwakelaar, thanks for your kind words. I've been following your MD with interest, would love to get my hands on some of your carriages  ;) (and the same goes for your other bats as well  :D) About the fencing, I myself think it looks a bit too crisp (or clean, or modern, or however you want to call it). But there just aren't that much fences available, i.e. this was the only set which had all the necessary components. As for the placement, it follows from the dimensions of the fences themselves. If they're placed more outward, some tiles won't line up anymore.   

Small update

I've remade some of the ALN tracks and attempted to blend them into the existing textures, though with none satisfactory results yet. Also, I realised that in order to see the full spectrum of textures available (low/med/high wealth & density for all rci types) I'll need a fully devolped city, which I don't have because since rediscovering simcity I've been busy with all sorts of modding. So it seems the time has come to actually start playing the game but not before doing some lotting  $%Grinno$% Here's a little something.

Dirty industrial disguised as a farm, part of the so-called 'dirty meadows' project. Stay tuned for more.
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana


There is a lot of neat stuff happening here.  I really like the textures, as well as the dirty meadows project.  The lotting is very simple, but still does a great job.

There is space for more SAM textures in NAM's RUL.  You don't really have to make paths, because they are all the same.  From what I know, the job can be done by copy/pasting some lines and changing the texture instance references.  It's NAM territory though, you don't really want to release your own RUL.  The tutorial is here.

I did a little work with the ALN set myself, though not nearly as good.  I used the "dirt track" textures from Deadwoods, and they can now be found in BSC Vol01.  Actually, the ALN paths are overlays that used these textures.  If you extract a texture and open it in MSPaint (or remove the alpha channel) you will see the dirt track textures.  As they are pretty rural, these are what I went with.

I didn't go very far.  I figure these roads would have very few people on them, so mostly I use them to act as a long driveway to the farms.

If you don't mind, here are some things I did.  Transitioning to the lots was important to me.  Roads don't go to nowhere, so the straight piece end piece is not an end.  The diagonal end also turns a little:

To transition to lots, I used an offset prop.

An in-game image.  Clearly a little edgy, but making everything prefect does get in the way of playing the game.


vortext, this is some very nice looking work here! :thumbsup:

To answer the whole NAM/SAM side of things, shortly after the release of SAM Version 3, 3 years ago, jplumbley had asked me to create some starters for additional future expansion for a Version 4.  Version 4 still hasn't come about, but I already have an additional 8 starters prepared (SAM Sets 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16), plus I've copied paths and RUL Override code over for them. 

It's all sitting in the current developmental build of the NAM Controller right now--disabled for the moment, though re-enabling them is a 5-second job.  They're basically just waiting for new sets.  I've also partially completed coding on them to enable connections with the NWM, GLR and other components that weren't yet supported.