Here's the first part of our time travelin' series.
We'll travel back in time to the mid-90's when SimCity 2000 was the latest and greatest game and Times Square was becoming more family freindly. First stop: six years ago.
Times Square, 2003
We start our journey on 42nd and Broadway in 2003. The city was getting over 9/11 and word was beginning buzz around City Hall about New York tossing it's hat into the bid for the 2012 Olympics.
Trump was busy constructing Trump Place on the Upper West Side, the finishing touches were going on the AOL Time Warner Center and Mayor Bloomberg made it official a smoking ban would be in place for restaurants and bars.
Down in Midtown America's first green skyscraper was half way finished and getting rave reviews from architects and residents alike; the Conde Nast Building.
Plus, average rent was "only" $1,600 per month back then.
Ah, New York in the mid 90's.
The police cars were blue, the subway cars were still red (mostly), gas guzzling big Crown Vic's and Caprice's ruled the roads and gigantic billboards advertising Tommy Hilfiger, Joe Boxer and of course DKNY were plastered on the sides of buildings throughout the city(the famous DKNY billboard was replaced last year by Abrocrombie & Fitch)
Here's Skape 3D Map of Leicester England to give you an idea of what to expect:
Cities XL comes close to this but the level of detail shown in this video is much greater. Makes you wonder about the next gen city builder. Also, makes you wonder how AI would be integrated into the simulator. GTA IV (despite being controversial) does a good job of integrating AI with the environment as show below.
Sony Tower has made it's way into SimCity and is finally available in the downloads section. Get it while it's hot!
From Wikipedia, Sony Tower, formerly the as the AT&T Building, is a 647 feet (197 m) tall, 37-story skyscraper located at 550 Madison Avenue between 55th and 56th Street in Manhattan. It was designed by architect Philip Johnson and his partner John Burgee, and was constructed in 1984.
It became immediately controversial for its ornamental top (sometimes mocked as "Chipendale" (after the open pediments characteristic of the famous English designer's bookcases and other cabinetry), but enjoyed for its spectacular arched entranceway, measuring about seven stories in height. With these ornamental additions, the building challenged modernism's demand for stark functionalism and purely efficient design. Because of this it is considered by many critics to be a prime example of postmodern architecture.
Before we head to the Hamptons we need to go to Coney Island. Summer in New York would not be summer without a stroll along the boardwalk or stopping by Nathan's Hot Dogs.
The section of the map where Coney Island is located hasn't been updated in for awhile, but thanks to the BAT of the Wonder Wheel (or as it is depicted in the BAT the Liberty City Wheel from GTA IV) Here are some pictures below of the area.
The Cyclone in SimCity (available at Simtropolis) Still a bit of work to be done on this part, but most of my focus is on developing Manhattan
An overview at night. In real life Coney Island still lights up the night sky.
I recently updated Lower Manhattan and removed the World Trade Center so the region would not be in a time warp between pre and post 9/11. Here's the most recent shot of the region.
As you can see the area now looks a little... empty. I'll have to solve that with BAT ;) I haven't put the new One World Trade Center in because it hasn't been built yet and I'm trying to keep this recreation as accurate as possible. There's only a construction site for the new 1 WTC just like in reality. Here's pre 9/11 region shot for anyone interested.
I'll have close up of the area in another post. More to come later.
A source of inspiration for my project has come from watching the progress of YouCity's map of Manhattan. After working for years on their 3D map of New York YouCity the team has finally launched their map of Manhattan.
It really has the feel of SimCity 3000 and I'm still wondering if every building is modeled in complete 3D, it appears as if they are. You can check it out yourself at youcity.com
Today the Statue of Liberty reopened to the public after being closed since 9/11. Now it is open again for tourists and locals alike to enjoy the views from the crown. Visitors are still not allowed to go up to the torch as it is still closed and only 30 visitors can go up to the crown at one time as the area is so small.
I'm raising funds for my long term goals of the recreation project:
-Pay for hosting and an existing domain name for a separate website
-Buy some 3D models of landmarks (to expedite the tedious BATing process)
-Purchase Sketchup Pro.
The files will be delivered to you via email in a ZIP file as soon as I get notification of a donation.
Isn't this already the website for the project?
For now it is until everything can be moved to site where all the downloads can be organized in an easier fashion. Even though it is technically a blog, Blogger is limited in what you can do, how you can design your content and organize your information. I would like to have a more easily navigable website in the long term. The project is now getting too big to fit on one blog and it needs to be moved to a real website.
Does this mean we have to pay for all your creations in the future?
No, this is the first and only set of downloads that will cost anything. Everything else will continue to be free. Only these downloads are only available to those who donate.
How much should I donate?
You can donate any amount you want (although donations of $1 or less get eaten up by PayPal and don't go to the person you're donating to unfortunately) I appreciate any support and am thankful for the support I have already received.
Do I need a credit card to donate?
No credit cards are needed to donate, but they still are accepted.
Can someone donate internationally to get the downloads?
Yes, international donations are accepted unless you're a prince from Kenya donating your fortunes :)
What do I get for donating?
You will get 4 of my BAT's and the 3D model files which you can modify the shape or textures of:
-The Metropolitan Club
-A typical New York low rise mixed use apartment
-Tom's Restaurant (the diner in Seinfield)
You will also get 3 car props to place on lots: How do I get the downloads?
I will send the file to you via email. It should arrive in a Zip file within 24 hours or less; so be sure you have WinZip or a similar file unpacking application so you can place the files into your SimCity folder. Be sure also to give me your email so I can email you the file.
Are there any dependencies that are needed for these downloads?
Here's some progress shots of Harlem, East Harlem specifically around 3rd Avenue from 106th Street to 125th Street. I was working on this area and turned on the night view after I plopped down marcszar's fantastic NYC Housing Projects (available in the downloads section) They looked so nice and realistic at night I took some pictures.
Some things may change I will tweak for accuracy, but for now it looks pretty good. More next time
I've show some of my Google Earth project on here already but have been mainly focusing on Manhattan. Brooklyn and the other boroughs often get the short end of the stick when they are mapped out either in tourists guides or online mapping services. Now we'll cross the Brooklyn Bridge and see a little bit of 3D Brooklyn. (Besides if you're going to map New York in 3D you should include all five boroughs eventually.)
Housing projects located in between the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge in the neighborhood known as DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).
Further along we come across Borough Hall which looks kind of lonely without the rest of the 3D building layer turned on. More textured buildings will out Downtown Brooklyn in the coming weeks and months.
Finally, we end up in Prospect Park or rather at Grand Army Plaza and the Brooklyn Public Library.
More Google Earth New York (Brooklyn) next time.
BTW, check out YouCity's 3D map of New York, the team is beginning to map out Brooklyn. You can view it here.
With my recent post on cracking down on spam I wanted to post something positive. As I don't have a proper update ready yet (still) I do however have another New York BAT ready for download as a thank you to everyone out there for taking in interest in my gigantic project to recreate New York in Simcity. Or at least recreate sections of it :)
I'll put it up in the downloads section later but for now you can download it right here off the main page.
It's 927 Fifth Avenue and the luxury co-op located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 74th Street on the Upper East Side. The address was home to Mary Tyler Moore and New York's most famous pair of birds, Pale Male and Lola.
I've been meaning to put it up for download ever since last year but somehow it got lost in the shuffle. Now it's finally available.
BTW, that giant green diamond is not a lost diamond of one of a socialite resident, it's a surprise animation. Enjoy and thank you again.
Just a quick update to tell everyone I'm in the process of BATing up some buildings that should be ready to hit the simcity downloads section soon. Be on the look out for them in the next couple of days.
Speaking of downloads some of you may have noticed KS JPN has updated his site, SimCity BAT Showcase. He changed his URL so update your bookmarks, I have posted the new URL in the links section. I'll be adding more BAT links in the near future.
If you haven't heard about the site YouCity or checked it out yet you should take a look. The YouCity team has been diligently working on mapping and modeling Manhattan.
The website is actually a social networking site with a 3D map that is displays information on entertainment hot spot in the city. It seems like an interesting concept (social mapping service?) The map really reminds me of SimCity 3000.
I spoke on the phone a couple of months ago to the man behind YouCity, Shu Zang. He told me each building is individually modeled to accurately represnt the area. Now that's detailed dedication. I'm not sure how many people are modeling the buildings but it must be a lot since Manhattan has so many buildings. Also, there are a few inaccuracies and buildings that should have more 3D detail added to them.
Though, I don't think every single building in Manhattan is modeled and it would be nearly impossible to do that. Nonetheless, it's quite an amazing project and demonstrates an interesting application of how 3D mapping can be used in other ways.
You can find more out about YouCity 3D Maps and how they develop them maps at youcity.com.
It's always nice to see step by step tutorials because sometimes we need visual aids and video tutorials show us exactly what to do. Very handy aid to written tutorials. You can find more SimCity 4 tutorials on YouTube.
Speaking of tutorials I'm thinking of putting together a tutorial myself on how to make realistic recreations in SimCity but that's a future project so you'll have to wait for that one.
Today we'll take a closer look at Google Earth New York. With updated new layer 3d cities I've been exploring Manhattan with amazement at the level of detail that went into the creation of this update.
The photo realistic textures, the day/night transitions and the scale of it all is something that will take mapping to the next level in the coming years. Here's a few more images from the map.
City Hall and Tweed Courthouse
Renwick Ruins on Roosevelt Island
McGraw-Hill Building in Midtown
One Worldwide Plaza
Could Sim New York be upstaged by Google Earth New York? Possibly, though it is likely my Google Earth Project will help my sim New York project and serve as a useful reference for Manhattan (the other boroughs aren't mapped out in 3D- yet.)
In the meantime we'll take a 3D tour of the various neighborhoods of Manhattan in the coming months ahead so be on the lookout for that.
My other recreation project has taken a big step forward toward being complete, Manhattan is now finished thanks to a new 3D update to Google Earth. Here's some of the latest pictures from Google New York:
The Financial District
The Lower East Side, SoHo, Greenwich Village and other areas of Lower Manhattan.