Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy 2008!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sim New York at Christmas

Sim New York is gearing up for Christmas it's less than a week away. The Waldorf Astoria is decorated for the holidays inside and out.

The lights of Times Square can't upstage the Christmas tree located on the traffic island at 46th and Broadway.

Lincoln Center's Christmas tree decorated with blue lights.

The lesser known Christmas tree in City Hall Park.

Finally, the world famous Rockefeller Christmas tree.
More next time. Happy Holidays.

Friday, December 07, 2007

And the Winner Is....

Many thanks to the staff and members of Simtropolis for giving me my first Trixie award :) I've come a long way with my recreation I have a long way to go.

Thanks again. More to come next time

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade makes its way down Central Park West

Staten Island: Small Town New York

Finally we hop on the ferry and sail across the bay to Staten Island. (For those unfamiliar with Staten Island you can find a handy map of Staten Island at

We start off on the northern portion of the island in an area known as Snug Harbor in front of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center.

The historical area of Snug Harbor was originally built in 1833 as Sailor's Harbor settlement. In 1900, there were approximately 1000 residents, but the population dropped below 200 by the mid-1950s and fell to only 110 by the 1970s.

In 1976, the remaining residents had been relocated and the city had taken possession of the property. Officials designated several of the buildings as landmarks, and opened the area to public.

A quite side street in the neighborhood of New Brighton. With Queen Ann's and Victorian style homes lining the street the neighborhood feels more like a surburb rather than New York.

The Postcards Memorial completed in 2004 and designed by Masayuki Sono, was one of the first permanent memorials to pay tribute to the victims of the 9/11 attacks.

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in SC4. The iconic bridge is the longest bridge in the city with a span of over 5,000 feet. It was constructed in 1964 and connects Brooklyn to Staten Island.

More Staten Island next time.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Manhattan in the Making: Theater District

Here's a progress shot of the Theater District showing the latest buildings to be added the Sim New York map: The XYZ Buildings of Rockefeller Center, One Worldwide Plaza and One Astor Plaza.

Stay tuned for more.

Monday, October 01, 2007

New York 3D Models for Google Earth

Just a quick update for all the Google Earth fans out there. You can now download great 3d models of New York buildings with high resolution textures at

Most of their models are offered at the 3D Warehouse also. We'll be back with more next time.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Simphoni Exclusive Look at Cities Unlimited

SIMphoni posted an exclusive look at things to come in Cities Unlimited with Internet Director for Monte Cristo Multimedia, Da Silva.

The above shot at first glance looks like a real world picture until a closer look is taken. Realsim and attention to the fans needs and wants is the way Monte Cristo seems to be taking Cities Unlimted. You can see more of the exclusive pictures here.

Be on the look out for the official website set to launch sometime in next month. You can also join in on the discussion of Cities Unlimited over at Sitmropolis.

Update: Simtropolis has just posted an exclusive Q&A with Philippe about Cities Unlimited and the upcoming website.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11: Six Year Anniversary

Today marks the sixth year anniversary of September 11th. Today we will have a special update looking back at the World Trade Center through out the years.

1976-The 3 year old World Trade Center dominates the skyline and begins to become one of the icons of New York shortly after it is opened to the public on April 4, 1973.

The towers themselves don't just become notable, the entire complex and plaza eventually becomes iconic. The complex is so large a separate zip code is created for it.

1988- The Marriot World Trade Center (1981) on an early Monday morning.

1995- A quiet night on the plaza.

September 11, 2000- Tourists take in the breath taking views atop the World Trade Center Observation Deck on the South Tower. Visitors are greeted with a scale model of Manhattan, a virtual skyride and the panoramic views of the city and New York Bay.

September 10, 2001-

You can view more photos of the World Trade Center here.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

NYC Taxi Drivers' Group Strikes Over GPS Tracking

Cab riders were met with a bit cab crunch today as a taxi drivers group launched a two day strike over the TLC installing GPS tracking in the cabs. Other than slightly longer lines outside of train stations and airports the cab riders didn't notice much of a difference in taxi volume.

Nonetheless the city allowed cabs to pick up multiple passengers due to an estimated drop of 1/5th of the 44,000 licensed cabs on the street.

You can see more coverage at NY1.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Sneak Peak at Tribeca

Tribeca is a neighborhood in Manhattan that is known as the Triangle Below Canal. It's located between Canal Street to the north, Broadway to the east, the Hudson River to the west and Chambers Street to the south. Here's a sneak peak at Tribeca in SimCity.

Tribeca has managed to maintain and preserve many of the original brick streets that once paved the city. It is one of the neighborhoods which has the most brick streets in Manhattan, in not in the entire city.

Luxurious lofts, and other unique and beautiful buildings house the residents and businesses located in Tribeca, but you'll have to pay a pretty penny to even rent here as Tribeca is Manhattan's most expensive neighborhood.

Stay tuned for more next time.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Google Earth New York: Midtown Skycrapers

Last week I showed you the Financial District of Manhattan in my other New York recreation project, Google Earth New York. Today we'll head to Midtown, Manhattan's bustling business center.

The Midtown skyline looking up from 42nd Street.

Bloomberg Tower on 57th Street

100 United Nations Plaza next to Trump World Tower.

860 and 880 United Nations Plaza across the street on 1st Avenue.

The Austrian Cultural Forum near Fifth Avenue.

The Corinthian Apartments near the Queens-Midtown Tunnel.

Park Avenue Tower on 55th Street.

425 Fifth Avenue.

The Bryant Park Hotel (formerly the American Radiator Building)

The New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue.

The Lever House on Park Avenue.

The world famous Plaza Hotel next to Central Park.

Across the street from the Plaza Hotel is the new Apple Store encased in a glass cube and hidden under the plaza outside the General Motors Building.

Nearby is the Four Seasons Hotel.

More to come next time.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Manhattan Transportation Map

Just a quick update today from Sim New York to show the road network and infrastructure.

All of the roads are laid out including the complex network of diagonal streets in the West Village. Even the Highline is placed as indicated by the black curvy line running through Chelsea. The green dots represent parks (or buildings located in the park menu). The map isn't entirely accurate but it's close.

More next time.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Storm Floods Subway System and Spawns Brooklyn Tornado

A severe storm this morning dumped nearly 2 inches of rain on the city and flooded most of the subway tracks around the city; shutting down the entire subway system around the city. Every line was effected and commuters who use the subway to get to work were advised to "stay home if they could" by MTA officals. Some parts of the elevated subway system in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx were blocked by downed trees.

The Long Island Railroad service is suspended due to the tracks at the Bayside Station being completely flooded and Metro-North service was temporarily suspended.

This is not the first time the New York subway has been flooded. In 2004 Hurricane Francis dumped more than three inches of rain on the city and turned stairs in subway stations into waterfalls.

Roadways were also effected by the severe storm. Many motorists in New Jersey were trapped in their cars due to the high water. In Williamsburg Brooklyn many streets were also flooded including high trafficked Broadway.

To make the situation worse. A rare F2 tornado touched down in Brooklyn ripping some roofs off of houses and apartments, toppling trees (or ripping the tops completely off), and blowing out windows in buildings in the Bay Ridge and Kensington neighborhoods. Con Edison is urging residents in Brooklyn to conserve energy as the clean up effort gets under way. Con Ed fears the heat advisory today is likely to put a strain on the on the power grid.

Tornadoes are a rare occurrence in New York but are becoming more frequent. On July 18th an F1 touched down in a nearby suburb of New York, Islip Long Island. Last year an F2 tornado touched down in Hawthorne and Mount Pleasant, 20 miles north of New York in Westchester County. Less than 10% of tornadoes recorded in the US reach F2 scale.

At least one person was killed in the violent storm. Today's storm is one of the most destructive and most likely costly in recent New York history. Some studies suggest the increase in Tornado activity and severe weather in the New York area is due global warming. Many other studies show rainfall patterns and amounts are already changing on a global scale.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

How To: Taking SimCity to the Next Level

This section of the blog is how to advice on where to find some of the best 3ds models for SimCity to how make the game even more realistic to gmax tutorials.

Updated 7/6/08

-Giant List of SimCity Tutorials and Videos has some great tutorials for SimCity players. Check out their long list of SmiCity tutorials and videos.

-How to Create Custom Automata for SimCity 4

Fellow Simmer Vester_DK has written some great articles on anything and everything relating to how to make custom automata for SimCity 4. You can read them here.

-How to Create Custom Queries

Here's a handy tutorial about how to make a custom query for all the modders out there. Download the UI Editor Tool and then follow this tutorial.

-3ds Max Video Tutorial

Since BAT uses Gmax and Gmax is very similar to 3ds Max (with some features removed) I've found some videos which will help people getting started with the basics of BAT.

1. Getting Started with the Interface

2. Customization of Interface

3. Edit Mesh

4. Edit Poly

For a complete tutorial on how to make a building in BAT from scratch refer to the Simtropolis Omnibus section's BAT tutorials.

-How To Make BAT's for SimCity 4 in Sketchup

I've gotten a number of requests about how to make custom content for SimCity. The most obvious way to do this is with the gmax add-on for SimCity 4, BAT. BAT is based off of Gmax which is similar to 3ds Max minus a couple of additional features. If you've never made anything in 3D before Gmax will be a little difficult to get the hang of and your early work won't be as accurate as you would like. Many people who don't have 3D skills put requests in the BAT Request Thread only to have them (mostly) ignored. Or they wish they could have the great skills of their favorite BAT artist. Now they can.

A simple 3D modeling application that I'm starting to model my buildings in is Sketchup. Sketchup is almost like a 3D drawing tool and it is very easy to use whether your a beginner or a longtime 3D modeler. Even someone with no 3d modeling expeirence can make a fairly decent building in about an hour. You'll have to render your building in BAT (BAT for Max is preferable if you have the money to spend on 3ds Max); by using Sketchup to create your buildings you can cut down on the time it takes to make.

You can download a free 30-day trial version of Sketchup at

Here's some great video tutorials created by the author of Sketchup for Dummies to get you started with making 3D creations in Sketchup for SimCity.

1. Making a Quick Model in Sketchup

2. Understanding Edges and Faces

3. Using SketchUp Components

4. Select and Replace

5. Putting It All Together

Once you've created your model in Sketchup you can export it in a format that can be imported by BAT, 3ds. Go to File-Export-3DS. You're model should now export to your chosen destination and you can import it into BAT, texture it and render it for SimCity 4. Sketchup even has a network link to Google's 3D Warehouse where you can download 3D models.

-Nightlighting Tutorial

So you've got your building ready to go after days or weeks of hard work. You may have created it from scratch or converted it from Sketchup by following my tutorial. All that needs to be done is nightlighting.

Here's a simple nightilghting tutorial to finalize your buildings.

Happy BATting!

How to Get Sketchup Models into SimCity

This tutorial explains how to use Sketchup models for SimCity.

Download tutorial-94.97 KB.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Google Earth New York


Another update of the continually growing Google Earth New York, my other 3D New York recreation. Here's some sights from the Financial District.

Hanover Square near Wall Street

The Banker's Trust Building on Wall Street

The Cube in the Plaza of the HSBC Building (formerly the Marine Midland Bank Building)

17 State Street at the tip of Lower Manhattan near Battery Park

The Police Museum near FDR Drive

88 Pine Street (also known as Wall Street Plaza)

The Wall Street corridor at Broadway

Stay tuned for more next time.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday Drive in the Park

A nice Sunday afternoon drive along the 79th Street Transverse Road in Central Park.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Around Town: Summer in New York

It's the middle of summer in New York City. Here are a couple of popular New York summer spots from around the town. First stop the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade is a great place to stroll along on a nice summer day and take in the dramatic views of the city riverside. See the views.

Next up a great summer spot in the Village, Washington Square Park. Surrounded by the New York University campus Washington Square Park is the backyard of Greenwich Village (and is also the unofficial "quad" of NYU).

Sit and relax by the fountain, play with your dog at the new dog run or pick a shady spot and watch the street performers.

Finally, we head to the Theater District to the Ed Sullivan Theater where The Late Show with David Letterman is filmed.

In the summertime at 53rd and Broadway tourist can be often seen waiting in line to get tickets to the Late Show. Some may stop by Rupert G's deli around the corner or crowd around to see the celebrity guests get out of their limos. Though tonight taping has ended and the only way to see the show is on TV.

We'll have more next time.