Friday, November 14, 2014

A sign of life

Hello all,

it has been a while since my last update here. I hope you don't mind and still keep playing the Sims 3 though the fourth generation came out in the meantime.

I haven't been lazy during the last month and I keep working on the project, just to make sure that it is by no means stopped.

The reason why there hasn't been a second beta yet is related to issues with routing and playability, which I want to get rid of before sharing the world with you. I know that the first beta came with some serious problems and I was very happy ro recieve a lot of feedback on what to improve. I am doing my best to fix the bugs and improve playability. For example the prices for housing were not the best. There are few starting lots and the prices for most of the lots doesn't feel very realistic. I will fix this! Just give me a little bit more time!

Here are some examples of what I have done during the last months:

This is a nice penthouse in the heart of Downtown. It has three floors, a big pool inside and a magnificent view. Of course it is the most expansive place to live in the city.

I am also confident with the progress I made concerning nightlights. The city doesn't look that dark at night anymore. Still, there is a lot of work to be done here.

I also made some adjustments to Financial District. I always wanted to have the New York Stock Exchange there and I finally realised my plans. Now it is more realistic than before and I hope you like it, too.

As you can guess from the picture, I have updated my game with the Island Paradise EP. This was a necessary step to start building Pier 17, which you can see here. The sailing vessels are still missing, but I will add them in the near future. It is really awesome to go on a boat trip around the city from here!

At the end of the post some shoots, which I hope will help you to keep on waiting a bit more for the next release ;)

Have a good time!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Urban sound emitters

Hello to all you patient followers out there,

I know that updates here are rare. Just take it as a sign of me being busy working on the city.
I will do my best to bring you a second beta until the end of this summer. Promiss!

This update is all about sounds. You will agree that the right background sound is very important to create a realistic urban atmosphere. I finally managed to get my urban sound emitters working. Technically speaking, they are copies of EA's late night building shells, so they play a variety of urban sounds within a certain range. Placing one of them on every corner results in a dense urban sound atmosphere throughout the city. The best thing is that they are invisible in game :)

In CAW hoewever, they look like a small american flag to make placing them easier. If one of you is interested in using them for your own worlds, contact me.

Theoretically, the sound files played by them can be changed to any sound you like using s3pe and some other tools. I have tested some real sounds from NY, but it's hard to find good sounds, so I will stick to the default ones by now.

EDIT: Ok here is the video. The sounds are actually part of the game, not added afterwards. Now there's only the traffic missing at Times Square, butI don't think I can do anything about that... enjoy anyway :)

I will upload a video, once I find the time to record it, to show you how the sound atmosphere is in game.

Take care until next time and keep looking forward to beta number 2!


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Time for some updates...finally!

I know, it has been ages since the last time I posted some updates here. This is mainly because the things I am doing right now are not very suitable for a lot of nice screenshots.

Placing streetlights is a good example for that kind of work. It takes like forever, but you won't see a big difference, until the night comes and a hundred spots of light appear in the city. That really adds to the atmosphere!

However, I haven't just spent my time placing streetlights. Here are some screenshots from Randalls and Wards Islands, which I am currently working on. You will find a lot of public sporting areas there, but also the wastewater treatment plant. Nice combination, isn't it?

I hope you like what I am coming up with and you still don't lose interest in this project!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Yet another month has passed and you may aks what has happen during the last weeks.
I recorded a short video for you to give you an impression of my current work on Times Square.
I finally managed to make animated adverts - like the news ticker at One Times Square.

Pretty amazing, don't you think?
I really hope you can apologize that progress is made so slowly, but it takes a lot of time and effort to realize my plans for Manhattan. I promiss that a second beta will come - I just can't tell you when it will be.

Keep checking my blog regularly and have a good time!

Best Regards

Friday, January 24, 2014

How time flies...

It has already been a month since my last post... How time flies!

Unfortunately, working on details takes a lot of time until you make recognizable progress.
I am still very busily working on this project and made some new photos for you to see what I am currently doing.

I spend most of my time redoing things that weren't done carefully enough in the beginning. There are many deco buildings with rather ugly textures that ruin the atmosphere of the city.40 Wall Street is a good example. Here you see the original building that comes with the first beta:

Textures look blurry and you can't see any details.
As we play the game mostly from a perspective not too far away, detail is important, espacially for the ground floor, where stores are suspected to be.

 And here is my current attempt to retexture:

The blurry parts belong to the original texture and the sharp parts are new. One can easily see a big difference, right?

The roof looks more wheathered and the windows can be distinguished from each other.
The new texture is twice as big as the old one. Increasing texture size does of course demand more power from your machine, but as I can't recognize any impact on my system right now, I will keep doing so. I really don't have a good computer, so don't worry too much about performance.

I have also continued to add detail to the streets. What would a city be without newspaper kiosks?

 Last but not least, I have decided to add the new World Trade Center into the game.  In my opinion, it's the best to refer to the city as it currently looks. Here are 2 pictures of One World Trade Center, former called the Freedom Tower. The memorial plaza in front of it will be added next.

 Also don't forget to check the gallery to see some new shots from the Bronx!

Please be patient regarding another beta, as I can't say when I consider it done. And please keep giving feedback!