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270 Degree Loop Tutorial

Started by bladeberkman, October 15, 2018, 02:06:47 AM

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270 Degree Loop Tutorial

The purpose of this tutorial is to demonstrate how to consistently and reliably produce the following L1 to L0 270 degree loops:

Here are a few disclaimers:
- I am using NAM 36
- I am using Ennedi's slope mod (mountain version): http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=1512
- I am using Buggi's extra cheats plugin (for the terrain height query): https://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/21118-simcity-4-extra-cheats-plugin/
- This tutorial is tough and may not be much fun, but it works

I hope this is useful! If anyone can think of anything to improve on this process or make it more efficient/simple, please feel free to contribute. Really! This is difficult and I'd like it to be easier.  :D



A. Levels

The most time-consuming and challenging part of this tutorial is step 1. After that (and with a little practice), it gets easier. Using a careful combination of the terrain height query, mayor-mode height raising/lowering tools, and NAM hole diggers/raisers, establish the height framework below. This framework forms the foundation of the tutorial.

Terraforming Pro-Tips:
- Point the map North at all times
- Use the closest zoom
- Use mayor-mode height raising/lowering tools while holding the control key
- Click the top left-most corner of the tile for the best precision
- Check height levels with the terrain height query from the Extra Cheats plugin
- Use the hole diggers/raisers for specific intervals
- When you find each level, save the game

Bulldoze these tiles.

Plop these tiles. You are done building the initial framework. From here, choose Variation 1 or Variation 2.


B. Variation 1

Variation 1 is simpler than Variation 2. First, bulldoze these tiles.

Plop these tiles.

Bulldoze these tiles.

Plop an L1 flex height transition, then disconnect the stub.

From top to bottom, plop three 90 degree MIS curves on these cells. Make sure the yellow line is on the outside!

Here is the output.

Finalize the loop.

Reliability: North View

Reliability: East View

Reliability: South View

Reliability: West View

With Variation 1, you may also build adjacent mainlines.


C. Variation 2

Variation 2 is more complex than Variation 1, with around double the steps. First, bulldoze these tiles.

Plop these tiles.

Plop these tiles.

Plop these tiles. Note, for the lower area, plop first and second as indicated.

Drag road from A to B.

Drag road from C to D.

Drag road from E to F.

Bulldoze the road slope.

Re-drag the exact same pattern using RHW (A to B, C to D, E to F).

Bulldoze these tiles.

Plop two 45 degree MIS curves on these cells. Make sure the yellow line is on the outside!

Plop one 90 degree MIS curve on this cell (on top of the RHW slope). Make sure the yellow line is on the outside! Unfortunately, the discoloration of the 90 degree curve on top of a visible grid makes this look a little jagged, but it is actually pretty level/smooth.

Bulldoze these tiles.

Drag an RHW mainline, then drag an RHW ramp. Repeat this step on the lower level.

Disconnect the top two ramp cells as indicated.

Plop an L1 flex-height transition.

Re-drag the ramp.

Finalize the loop to your liking.

Reliability: North View

Reliability: East View

Reliability: South View

Reliability: West View


Amazing!!!! Thankyou so much for posting this  &apls &apls &apls &apls &apls

I spend so much time batting, that I really get the chance to explore all of the features in the NAM, so this will be a great help on the ipad while I practice this on SC4  :)


Very good tutorial, well structured and explained. K-point for you.  &apls &apls
I'll take a quiet life... A handshake of carbon monoxide.

Props & Texture Catalog


Aw, thanks mattb325 and art128! Figuring this out was a painstaking process with hours and hours of trial and error. It felt like I was trying to crack the combination of a vault door. :satisfied: I'm happy to share this tutorial with the community and hope others will find it useful.


Nice tutorial, thank you very much! It will be quite usefull the next time when I dive into a new RHW project!

- Tyberius
You may find updates about my ongoing projects into my development thread here at SimCity 4 Devotion: Tyberius Lotting Experiments
or over there on Simtropolis into the Tyberius (Heretic Projects) Lotting and Modding Experiments.
I'm also member of the STEX Custodian and working on different restoration projects on behalf of non-anymore-active custom content creators.
Current projects: WMP Restoration and SimCity Polska Restoration.
Member of the NAM Team and RTMT Team.


What would be the real advantage of doing method (variation) 2 over the first method, given the increase in steps and complexity?
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

My Mayor Diary San Diego: A Reinterpretation


Awesome tutorial, thanks a lot!

In addition to APSMS, I would raise the question, wouldn't it be a nice addition, if we would have raising/digging lots with exactly these heights? Couldn't be too much of a hassle to make these, could it? And that would smoothen the process a lot... :)
Back to the game after nine years - and everyday I find something totally new! :)


Hey paddy0174, it's funny you should ask. I actually requested/suggested a digger/raiser piece of 0.1m for precise situations such as these over on the Simtropolis NAM Requests Thread. The tool might be useful for other non-NAM scenarios, too. I know the NAM Team has plenty on their plate, though, so no hard feelings if it isn't adopted.  :thumbsup:

APSMS, I'm not sure if there's necessarily any added utility for method two (I haven't really considered the effects on capacity, for example). I think method two is visually and aesthetically cleaner and more realistic, therefore, more desirable. In real life (or at least according to Google Maps  :P) this is the sort of engineering I usually see for 270 degree loops. Regardless, just depends on the situation.



I'm also in favor of them, but as I noted on the ST thread, the implementation involves essentially re-discovering the "lost art" of a little-explored area of SC4 modding, so it might be awhile.

Very nice tutorial, Blade! :thumbsup:



I appreciate your feedback and your thoughts on a 0.1m digger/raiser. I had no idea those tools were as special as they are. Thanks for sharing some of the history behind them!


Hmm, I took a quick look at xannepans diggers/raisers.... Looks complicated and with a steap and frustrating learning curve...

Nevertheless, it looks worth an effort to dive deeper into. No promisses, maybe I don't get in any way, that would be highly possible, unfortunately. But one can't say, if one doesn't try.

If you have any idea, where at least a little is written down about that, please point me into the direction. I know, the forums and threads, there I will be looking anyway, but are there hidden "gems" for programmers? Otherwise it will be my usual job. Reading others work and try to re-use and understand... Sometimes I really wonder, why I like my job in RL... Should have listen to my mother and learn something meaningful, I don't know, like soccer player :D :D :D :D :D
Back to the game after nine years - and everyday I find something totally new! :)