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View Full Version : Multiple 'hoods on one terrain - an idea needing advice & a SC4 terrain maker


GneissGuy
11th Apr 2018, 12:55 PM
So I've been wanting for a while to make a single neighbourhood map which would have multiple of the pre-made hoods in a single place, so you wouldn't need to add all the different suburbs to play what would, in effect, be a megahood. And using mods that allow you to filter which NPC's/townies appear on which community lots, and other mods that open up young adult life in normal neighbourhoods (squinge's mega college pack), a whole town could be on a single map.

So I started planning how the road systems, and geographical surroundings, of the various neighbourhoods could fit together. I didn't want to include Strangetown as the desert would be incompatible, and I consider Veronaville to be in a different world/ far away, so dropped that, but I reckon that Belladonna Cove, Pleasantview, Bluewater, Desiderata Valley, Riverblossom Hills, Downtown and SimState Uni can all fit within the confines of a single SC4 terrain, and I'm working on fitting some of the Stories hoods or Academie le Tour in too, but that's probably too much of a squeeze. The geography around the inhabited parts of each hood has had to be compromised, and couple of very small adjustments to the roads help things feel more like a natural city, but the essence and feel of each individual neighbourhood is retained, and all the beach accessible coasts, and lots of the flat areas for new lots, are the same.

Unfortunately, whilst I can design the map I don't have SC4, and even if I did, I expect it'd take me ages to learn to craft the terrain well enough for this. So what I need is an expert SC4 terrain maker who thinks this sounds interesting, who I could send my design to.

If anyone else has any comments, or would be interested in playing such a neighbourhood, or notices any fundamental flaws in my plans, please let me know!

iCad
11th Apr 2018, 2:48 PM
While it's a fun idea, I fear that what you will run up against is the technical limitations of the game, even if you can manage to make a terrain that large. (I've never made one, but I'm pretty sure there are physical size limits.) Even if that weren't the case, I'm pretty sure that that many lots with that much deco on a single terrain will make the game choke, crash, and/or eventually give you Pink Flashing of Doom when the game runs out of texture memory. (It has issues with texture memory processing, regardless of how good your computer is.) It's an old game; it's not meant to or designed to process/render that much stuff all at once because 2004-era home computers just couldn't do that. I'm pretty sure that's why everything's divided up into subneighborhoods in the game.

Kankritty
11th Apr 2018, 8:34 PM
I highly doubt it would work. Not at the current scale of each 'hood.

Sims 2 only recognises the smallest SC4 region, and no matter what size region you pick in SC4, it'll always be the same size in TS2.

GneissGuy
11th Apr 2018, 8:53 PM
Well I can definitely fit what I want to on to the 64x64 small terrain in SimCity 4, so terrain size isn't the problem. It requires some very precise terrain modelling, and having exactly the right road layout, but it's possible. So, as long as someone were good enough at the terraforming that's not the problem. I do understand that this would stretch the game to its limit, but people create big, busy neighbourhoods covered in decorations and lots all the time, so I think it's worth a go.

Peni Griffin
11th Apr 2018, 8:56 PM
If you try to load the wrong size map it won't even load.

As for making the thing - SimCity 4 is cheap with a little shopping around. I spent $5 on e-bay. You're the only one with sufficient motivation to figure out how to do this. And if you get what you want in the end, who cares how steep the learning curve is?

simsample
11th Apr 2018, 9:14 PM
Well I can definitely fit what I want to on to the 64x64 small terrain in SimCity 4, so terrain size isn't the problem.
I'm puzzled as to how you know what you can fit into an SC4 map if you don't have the game? Also, each of the in-game neighbourhoods fill the map. Are you perhaps proposing to take a small section of each map and to leave some parts out (for example, the bridge in Pleasantview, or the Baba Yaga house in Belladonna?) You can't change the size of the in-game neighbourhoods though.

GneissGuy
11th Apr 2018, 10:48 PM
I'm puzzled as to how you know what you can fit into an SC4 map if you don't have the game? Also, each of the in-game neighbourhoods fill the map. Are you perhaps proposing to take a small section of each map and to leave some parts out (for example, the bridge in Pleasantview, or the Baba Yaga house in Belladonna?) You can't change the size of the in-game neighbourhoods though.

I've taken the street plans of the inhabited bits of each neighbourhood (ie, the bits with lots on) (actually the Baba Yaga house is the one thing I might have to miss out), and noted their approximate relative location compared to hills, beaches, canyons etc, deciding to incorporate some features and ignore others. Then I've made a schematic map of each, and fitted them together like a puzzle, using Excel, so I know exactly how many cells it takes up, and using the scaling conversion to SC4 I made it fit on a 64x64 map.
Basically the long beaches of Bluewater, Belladonna and Desiderata form a single straight long coastline along the southern edge, going west to east. Downtown fits in beside Belladona's towerblocks, just north-west of Desiderata. Pleasantview is north-east of Bluewater and Riverblossom is north of that, sharing the river canyon and bridge, and Sim State is in the north-east corner above Downtown. I had to squash Riverblossom and Bluewater slightly, moving some of their outlying lots, and the Tricou house ended up beside the log-cabin in Pleasantview.

As Peni Griffin said I'm probably the only one with the passion/ insanity to try this, so I installed SC4. I have now tested my idea on a completely flat map, and the road plan (with sufficient gaps left for geography) definitely all fits! Sculpting the terrain, and putting the roads onto the real thing will be the big challenge. And even then it'll probably overload the game and crash :P Still, no harm in trying. I'd still welcome help from an expert terraformer, who would look at my maps now that I've proven the roadplan fits.

Kankritty
12th Apr 2018, 11:03 AM
but are you aware that a 1x1 square in simcity4 is 3x3 in sims 2?

maxon
12th Apr 2018, 12:13 PM
You might find it easier to do the fine terrain sculpting in the game since it won't wipe out the roads as SC4 will.

GneissGuy
12th Apr 2018, 4:07 PM
Kankritty, yes I have accounted for that. A 64x64 SC4 map can basically allow for a 133x133 neighbourhood in Sims 2, and I've fitted everything into that. As I said, I made a flat roadplan on SC4 and transferred it to the Sims as a test and there is enough space.

Maxon, what do you mean? There's no way to sculpt the terrain in Sims 2... is there???

Also, by narrowing the canyon ever so slightly Bitville and Four Corners can fit in too, at the north-west of my map. Even if this is getting ever more impractical, and the game couldn't cope, it's just proving fun seeing what a theoretical SimCity of the pre-made material could look like. I'm seriously considering working out how big the regions of Urbsville would need to be if recreated in Sims 2, and trying to fit them in :P

Rosebine
12th Apr 2018, 4:20 PM
I guess maxon meant, using the terrain tool provided in game, in each lot you'd place down.
Or..maybe she meant, ModifyNeighborhoodTerrain cheat...

gdayars
12th Apr 2018, 4:27 PM
There is a neighborhood terrain sculpting tool that you can access in the game via a cheat. I can't remember what it is and am on phone but if no one answers will post it later. @ me later if necessary as I tend to forget.

Rosebine
12th Apr 2018, 4:28 PM
You won't have to silly..I posted it just before you ;)

gdayars
12th Apr 2018, 4:31 PM
Oh lol well I must have accessed the page before you did that. So didn't see.

TheJessaChannel
12th Apr 2018, 4:41 PM
Maxon, what do you mean? There's no way to sculpt the terrain in Sims 2... is there???

There is. I made a detailed video on how to use it a few years ago.

_tRRffD6qf0

https://youtu.be/_tRRffD6qf0

GneissGuy
12th Apr 2018, 4:43 PM
Oh wow, I didn't know that cheat existed, and having just watched that tutorial on it (I found it even before you shared it), it will solve all my problems, and make crafting this map so much easier, Thank you so much!!
At least, it'll make it easy for me to use myself. But... if when I've done all that terraforming in the Sims and I wanted to share the terrain in case any other people are crazy enough to want it is there a way to extract the modified map. Or would sharing the terraformed map still require it to be made in SC4?

simsample
12th Apr 2018, 7:07 PM
You'd have to make the basic map and lay the roads in SC4.

Once you've sculpted your neighbourhood in-game, You could share an empty copy of it by using Mootilda's Hood Replace program.
https://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=279992

There doesn't seem to be a way to extract an SC4 file from a Sims 2 neighbourhood.
http://modthesims.info/download.php?p=1922076#post1922076

GneissGuy
18th Apr 2018, 11:23 PM
Well... here's what I came up with... enjoy!
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=610648

Rosebine
18th Apr 2018, 11:45 PM
...And you never worked with SC4 before? Wow! Impressive. :)

GneissGuy
19th Apr 2018, 12:07 AM
...And you never worked with SC4 before? Wow! Impressive. :)

Thank you very much!
In the end a huge amount was done with the modifyNeighborhoodTerrain cheat you mentioned; almost everything apart from the edges really. The problem was that my Sims 2 game crashed whenever I tried to change the edges of the map (is that normal with that cheat?), so I had to get the edges to the right heights with water where necessary on SC4. And the bridge which proved a bit tricky.
I'd still like to get better with SC4 terraforming but it's nice to know the cheat gives me a work-around if necessary.

Rosebine
19th Apr 2018, 12:24 AM
Well you did quite good. I am not an experienced map maker, in fact, I made only one. It is my current 'Hood. Getting the beaches/edges at the proper height so I can place beach lots, was what took the longest. I also experienced a crash once, exactly how you describe it. Using that cheat on the further edge of the map. I changed my mind after that...it was not necessary, but I wanted to be able to place a skydome...:)
Good job anyway! Something tells me, you'll become an expert.

SleepycatDSL
19th Apr 2018, 1:16 AM
I learned to avoid trying to modify the edges, after a few crashes.

mdsb759
21st Apr 2018, 9:06 PM
shortly after getting University and Nightlife, I created SC4 files of the pre-made sub-neighborhoods in those packs.
mainly done the roads; have not attempted the ground. though did do 2 versions of Downtown; one without water and one with water.

edit:: have not yet uploaded any of those SC4 files anywhere.