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RTMT SAM Stations

Started by z, March 18, 2009, 03:05:05 AM

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z

We really appreciate the patience of our SAM users over many months of waiting, and we are happy to report that SAM stations are not far away:



The above is a fully-functioning prototype.  Notice that the stations can be put next to an intersection, and still get the SAM intersection effects.  They don't impinge on the five-square stability limit; the only restriction I've discovered so far is that they can't be put right next to a starter piece.  Of course, once the starter piece has been turned into a regular SAM network piece, this restriction is lifted.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.  There's a question as to how to handle the street markings (BUS STOP, etc.), which I will address in a poll on the main board.  Check back there soon...

Diggis

You say they can be put next to the intersection and still get the SAM intersection effect, but your image doesn't show that...

Otherwise these look great guys.

z

#2
You're right, it's just getting too late here.  So let me revise that to, "You can put them right next to an intersection!"  :)  Although I notice that what the intersection looks like depends somewhat on the order that things are built.  That's probably where my confusion arose.

z

The RTMT SAM stations are basically finished.  Since the RTMT V4 release is still a little ways away, I plan to release the SAM stations first.  Before doing so, I wanted to check with people to see what they thought of these stations, and if they would like any modifications.

As these are pre-V4 stations, they can be completely customized (like all RTMT stations), but all customization must be done manually.  In the V4 release, automatic customization for these stations will be added as discussed on the main RTMT board, and it will be completely compatible with the customization that players may use with these stations.  For the sake of simplicity, I have used the same station for each SAM type in these pictures.  There are stations for all SAM types except the parking lot SAM, as there is no room for stations (or even stops) on that one.  SAM textures are stable wherever these stations are plopped; even if there is only one square of SAM texture next to the station, it will not revert to the street texture.  However, when these stations are bulldozed, there is less stability, and some SAM squares may revert to street texture.

Here are the SAM stations, starting with SAM texture 9 and going down.  I arranged it this way so that the dirt and gravel streets appear in the last picture, as they are a special case that requires further discussion.





Note that except for the dirt and gravel streets, the stations are identical to the equivalent street stations.  Whatever road markings the user has set will appear on the SAM streets; this will be separately customizable in RTMT V4.  In this case, the standard single-lane street markings are used, with the exception that no markings ever appear on the dirt and gravel streets.  In the first picture on the far left, these markings cross the center line of SAM 9 slightly; the alternative would be to make a special case that would be smaller, but also harder to read.  If you think this should be done, please let me know, and please say whether you think it's important enough to you to delay the current release, or that its presence in V4 would be sufficient.

The bus stops on the dirt and gravel roads are simpler than the others, and of course, there are no subway stops for these.  One thing I did is to remove all props that require electricity, as these stops may be located far from any city.  The one tiny prop on one side of the shelter is a small newspaper stand.  And since these are simple, low-traffic streets, there's a shelter only on one side of the road, with a simple bus sign on the other side.  I figured I might as well have pavement on both sides of the street, to avoid forcing Sims to stand in the mud when it's wet.

So please let me know what you think.  I'm very open to suggestions for any alternatives here.

Diggis

They look good Z, my only issue would be with the Red stop on the rural roads.  I would expect to see a simple structure, blockwork or timber, rather than that one.


JoeST

or maybe even just have a single stop-sign rather than a shelter at all..

Joe
Copperminds and Cuddleswarms

z

#6
Quote from: Diggis on April 24, 2009, 02:14:34 AM
They look good Z, my only issue would be with the Red stop on the rural roads.  I would expect to see a simple structure, blockwork or timber, rather than that one.

I agree; fortunately, we have quite a selection of shelters to choose from.  For example, something like the following might be more appropriate:



(As you can tell, HD is going to be quite useful for us.)

As I mentioned above, the red shelters were used simply as layout examples, to emphasize that any customization would have to be done manually at this stage (though it's not that hard once you understand the principles).  Full customization will be available both in this release and in the V4 release; the only difference is greater ease of use in the V4 release.  In RTMT V4, you will be able to specify a default shelter type for each SAM type (you'll be able to specify the other props too).  But you will also be able to override this for individual stops, or simply change it, either for all stops, or just for new stops.

EDIT:  I would like to add that if people would like to make their own models for any aspect of RTMT, that's great!  You can either just use your models on your own, or you can send them to us, and if they're good quality, we'd be happy to integrate them into the main distribution.

Quote from: JoeST on April 24, 2009, 02:38:18 AM
or maybe even just have a single stop-sign rather than a shelter at all..

We could certainly do that; it all depends on what people want.  If enough people want it, we'll make it.  And if people want it enough, I could even get it into this release.  But they would have to let me know...

cogeo

Very nice work!

I do have some minor points though:
- Not sure about the pavement in the dirt/gravel streets. Removing it (ie make a texture with an alpha) might look cooler, but would cause other problems, ie those related to the wealth-dependent textures. Maybe making the curb a bit more defined would help a little - narrowing it a little might help a little further. Also making it looking not like pavement, but instead cement or something would be a little more realistic I think - a medium-luminosity gray would cause less constrast too.
- I don't live in the US but the newspaper stand for dirt/gravel streets rather looks unrealistic to me. I think it should be removed - maybe consider adding a trashcan in its place (for other RTMT stations this is placed next to the vending machine, but for these ones it could be placed alone).

@Diggis: RTMT features selectable prop models for busstop shelters (and other basic props), and it is so since version 3.0. Models aren't station-specific. All you have to do is BAT that busstop (or find a BATter to make it for you) and use it in prop-family mode (it's selectable though, despite that many players use it as random) together with any other busstop. For dirt/gravel streets you can use your model, while for the urban types the others. And this is already implemented, you don't need to wait for V4.0.

@JoeST: What you are asking is already done, before plopping your busstops just don't have a RTMTV3_PropF_Busstop*.dat propfile installed (no busstop shelter prop will be selected for the stations you will plop). You may reinstall these propfiles if you want to plop urban-style busstops.


z

Quote from: cogeo on April 24, 2009, 01:59:42 PM
- Not sure about the pavement in the dirt/gravel streets. Removing it (ie make a texture with an alpha) might look cooler, but would cause other problems, ie those related to the wealth-dependent textures. Maybe making the curb a bit more defined would help a little - narrowing it a little might help a little further. Also making it looking not like pavement, but instead cement or something would be a little more realistic I think - a medium-luminosity gray would cause less constrast too.

Yes, the pavement is a bit of a conundrum.  If the station is out in the middle of nowhere, as these are, it seems like a bit of overkill, especially with the tiling.  But if it runs through a neighborhood of any sort, it immediately gets surrounded by Maxis standard sidewalk, with or without the center green strip, depending on wealth level.  In such a case, I think a cement platform would look out of place, so I think overall the current sidewalk is the least problematic solution.  However, I agree that narrowing the sidewalk and/or adding a curb could definitely improve the looks of things here - if it weren't for the variable wealth effect.  For example, if you zone things so that you have a simple row of middle-wealth cottages, you get this:


In this case, the current pavement fits in perfectly, and anything else looks out of place.  So I'm not completely sure what to do here, but I think that leaving things as they are may be the best solution.

Quote- I don't live in the US but the newspaper stand for dirt/gravel streets rather looks unrealistic to me. I think it should be removed - maybe consider adding a trashcan in its place (for other RTMT stations this is placed next to the vending machine, but for these ones it could be placed alone).

You're right - I was a bit ambivalent about the newspaper stand myself.  I figured you might have a daily delivery of newspapers even on a rural street, but in point of fact, I don't think you actually see this happening.  A plain shelter along the lines of what Diggis posted is more typical.  But I think a trash can would be at least as out of place; it's hard to imagine regular trash collection from stops such as these.  So my inclination at this point is just to remove the newspaper stand and not replace it with anything else.  Further comments on this are welcome.

Quote
@JoeST: What you are asking is already done, before plopping your busstops just don't have a RTMTV3_PropF_Busstop*.dat propfile installed (no busstop shelter prop will be selected for the stations you will plop). You may reinstall these propfiles if you want to plop urban-style busstops.

How right you are!  I should have noticed this; this is what I get for responding to posts after 3 a.m...  /wrrd%&

cogeo

#9
I see, that is it's the SAM texture that looks like that. Well, needless to mention that I don't like it. The mid/high-density Res/Com textures for dirt/gravel streets are definitely ugly. For low density, and Ind ones are rather good, though I would instead prefer even that little grass removed as well (the terrain texture should show through). That is those dirt/gravel streets should have just one or two textures, with no pavement. If players want pavement they should instead choose something more urban. An alternative would be to hire some texturing expert, to rework these ones (the mud shouldn't enter the sidewalks). I think the NAM Team should take a look into this.

JoeST

I meant it would be nice to have bus shelters on the "urban" streets but just the poles on the "rural" ones.

Joe
Copperminds and Cuddleswarms

cogeo

@JoeST: That's exactly what I said, removing the propfile before plopping will result in not displaying any busstop shelter prop (you can still have busstop shelters for the other station types). This allows to select having/not having a prop for each specific station. And this is already implemented (since version 3.00).

JoeST

Ahhh ok, thanks for clarifying cogeo :)
Copperminds and Cuddleswarms

z

Quote from: cogeo on April 25, 2009, 01:51:26 AM
I see, that is it's the SAM texture that looks like that. Well, needless to mention that I don't like it. The mid/high-density Res/Com textures for dirt/gravel streets are definitely ugly. For low density, and Ind ones are rather good, though I would instead prefer even that little grass removed as well (the terrain texture should show through). That is those dirt/gravel streets should have just one or two textures, with no pavement. If players want pavement they should instead choose something more urban. An alternative would be to hire some texturing expert, to rework these ones (the mud shouldn't enter the sidewalks). I think the NAM Team should take a look into this.

I agree completely.  Having a dirt road surrounded by perfectly paved sidewalk just doesn't look right.  But it's going to take the SAM people (or, as you suggested, a texturing expert) to fix this.  Needless to say, if this is changed, I will happily change the RTMT stations to match whatever is produced.

Leodido


Omnia, my first MD. Check it out!