Friday, June 4, 2010

Bare Bones Version 2

I've named this "bare bones" SimCity 2000 city Behold!

That's my wife's eye staring out at you from the trees. For a time lapse of the build check out YouTube.











Here are some close-ups.

















This one hurts my eyes from the chaos.









It's actually painful to watch since all of the wind power stations flash since they are not generating enough electricity. The map goes black as all the buildings get abandon since the power drops to zero, then the power rebounds and all new buildings are built and the population explodes. This cycles over and over.

After creating the city Bare Bones version 1, I determined this is the smallest city you can create.

I decided to make a city with these 2x2 cities. But filling a 128x128 grid with 64x64 of these 2x2 cities would be boring so I began to think of an interesting pattern I can make. Then the idea came to me that I could create a picture of something. At first I wanted to create a face so I tried converting a lot of different images to black and white to see how they might look. I realized that the image had to be something simple for it to stand out and be recognized like a big peace sign or smiley face for example.

This city is "bare bones" because it only has wind power, road, residential and industrial zones. It has nothing else. There are no commercial zones. There is nothing else in the city like hospitals, police, fire stations, libraries, parks, schools, airports, rail, tunnels, subway, seaport, etc. and yet it easily makes a profit even though the population fluctuates wildly and goes to zero frequently. Even though there's not enough power and there's no water being supplied. Everyone keeps moving out and moving back in and this causes SimCity 2000 to freeze every few seconds. The only other city I've seen do that is my first bare bones city which is essentially the same city, just arranged differently.

Previously I had created a 40x40 icon of my wife's eye from a wedding photo which she had used on a social networking site. She got a lot of attention from that icon mainly from men wanting to meet her. I took the original image and cropped a 64x64 image of her eye. It was the perfect size and no scaling was necessary. I reduced the image to black and white using Paint Shop Pro using Palette component: Grey Values and Reduction Method: Error Diffusion, Stuck, Palette Weighted. There were lots of different ways to reduce an image to black and white and I tried them all and thought this gave the best result for my needs.

I converted the image to a negative because I wanted the eye to come from the trees and not from the buildings to give it a "mother nature" theme. Click on the photo below to see the original picture, the crop and the black and white versions.














At first I created this blow-up which I hand-numbered the rows and columns to guide me.


But it got too hard to follow once I got deeper into the city so I wrote a program to read the black and white image and write out a map I could easily follow telling me what row to put the 2x2 cities for each column.


Sample of program output:

  • Column 1: 3 8 13 26 30 33 37 40 43 46 48 51 54 56 58 60 62 64
  • Column 2: 2 5 6 9 11 14 16 18 20 22 24 27 28 31 34 35 38 39 41 42 44 45 47 49 50 52 53 55 57 59 61 63
  • Column 3: 3 7 10 12 15 17 19 21 23 25 29 30 32 35 36 38 40 43 46 48 51 54 56 58 60 62 64
  • Column 4: 2 4 6 8 11 14 24 26 31 33 37 41 42 44 45 47 49 50 52 53 55 57 59 60 62 63
  • Column 5: 1 5 9 12 13 16 18 22 25 27 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 43 46 48 50 51 53 54 56 57 58 60 61 64
  • Column 6: 3 6 7 10 14 17 21 23 26 29 33 35 38 39 41 42 44 45 47 48 49 52 55 56 59 61 62 63
  • Column 7: 2 4 8 9 11 15 20 24 27 30 32 36 40 43 46 50 51 53 54 57 58 60 63 64
I needed enough money to build the city but I didn't want to use any cheats to get the money so I built a small bare bones city that made a profit and aged it. All this city had was a street with some wind power and the residential, commercial and residential zones. I budgeted the ordinances to get money and none to spend money. Each 2x2 city costs $130. Since there are 1997 cities, the total cost would be at least $259,610. It was more due to the mistakes I made and had to re-zone, de-zone or bull-doze.



Once I had $2 million dollars, the map was fully mossed over with trees so I had to plow them all down which took a long time because every 3 seconds, this popped up.




There were 1997 black pixels in the 64x64 image which meant that I had to build 1997 2x2 cities.



I used signs along the columns numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. to tell me what column I was on. I numbered the rows for cities with signs 5, 10, 15, 20, etc. That's city rows, not grid rows. It took about 10 minutes to create a column and there were 64 columns so 640 minutes or about 10 hours. I taught my wife how to create rows and we took turns working on it and finished the city in about 5 days so about 2 hours per day.

Once the "chia" city was finished, I turned it on and let the action begin. I aged it so it fully mossed over with trees.

1 comment:

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