Monday, January 21, 2008

The Bronx's in the Making

The Grand Concourse around the 160's and Mullaly Park.

The Bronx County Courthouse near Yankee Stadium. Downtown Bronx forming in the lower left.

More next time.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Future of Simulation Games

Just a quick update today about the what simulation games might (or hopefully) look like in the future.

I ran across the above video at YouTube showing the engine of EA's new game Crysis. More searching lead me to walkthrough of the CryENGINE 2 game engine.

Even though Crysis is a single player shooter game the engine makes me think of the implications for the sim gaming genre such as laying transportation networks, creating and forming terrain, breaking away from the grid and controlling weather. Not to mention increased flexibility with the viewpoint. Here's some demo videos in an urban environment:

Other Simming games are breaking away from the isometric view such as Tycoon City: New York, the Sims 2 and City Life. Though, finding a balance between system requirements and stunning graphics would be a challenge.

Monte Cristo is currently developing Cities Unlimited which may raise the bar in city building simulation games.

Friday, January 04, 2008

3D Resources for SimCity Custom Content Creation

Free 3D Model Websites

Disclaimer: Just because something is free doesn't mean you can do anything with it. Many free 3d websites have different rules about how their models can and can't be used. Make sure to read the terms of service before downloading and give credit where credit is due before uploading it to a file exchange. Even though it's converted to SimCity it is still someone else's work

Also, make sure it is not a model that is being distributed without permission to the public. Be a diligent downloader.

Looking to add a prop to your lot or just want to finish off your BAT with some great architectural feature? There's a lot of great places on the web to get some free 3ds models to put in SimCity as props, a BAT or just for your own personal use.

The first place to go to find 3D models for SimCity is at the Simtropolis STEX. The wide collection of 3D models created for Simcity are ready to for render in BAT. Now let's look at some sites outside of the SimCity community.

While it's true most of the great quality models or latest models cost money you can find some decent models or older 3d models for free at many places around the web

Here's a growing list of a few free 3d modeling websites:

1. 3D Warehouse by Google

Google's purchase of Sketchup has created one of the largest website to download 3d models online and is becoming the place to find all things 3d for Sketchup.

Thousands of new models are added each day from 3d modeler's and hobbists around the world. Quality of creations varies with each creator but you can find some great highly detailed models of any sort.

You will either need to purchase Sketchup Pro to convert models into another format or you can download a 30 free trial of Sketchup Pro 6.


Turbosquid has some great free 3d models and even better 3d models that you have to pay for. While some models are priced in the hundreds of dollars there are many good free models to be found and also lots of bargains if you're willing to spend some money.

The models come in a variety of formats ranging from Maya to almost every version of 3DSmax. Turbosquid is a great modeling resource as it not only has free 3d models but also offers many free 3d textures. You can spend an entire day browsing through the creations at Turbosquid.

If you're willing to spend money check the paid creations at Turbosquid.

3. 3D Meshes Research Database

Complied from the some free content of the Digimation Archive The 3D Mesh Research Database created by the Iniria Gamma Group is one of the largest, if not the largest, free 3d model repository on the web. Almost any and every type of 3D model you can think of- or want- is located at the database.

4. Max Realms

In addition to having A growing collection of free 3DS models Max Realms also offers free 3d studio max resources. members forum, free 3ds models, 3ds, tutorials, .max files, and .3ds files.

5. The 3D Studio

In addition to selling great models the 3D Studio has free models for download. From sports objects to cars to architecture the 3D studio has it.

Here's an enormous list of websites to find free 3d content from the INRIA Gamma team.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

3D New York Video

Screampoint's Digital 3D model of New York City.