Update

We’ve broken the 200 mark. Well over 200 parks have been downloaded!! A large chunk of this occurred within the past 24 hours! So thanks a lot!

So, I’ve brushed off the thin layer of dust and set about on V1.3

It may not seem that big at the start – but in terms of the implementation and hard work – this will pave the way for all of my future plans.

Running With Admin - The biggest change is that now ParkManager will have to be run as an admin. You will be asked on launch if you give permission for this. Why you ask:

  • Now you can download files directly into your RCT3 Game Directory. When you select ‘new sandbox’ it opens a file in the game directory called ‘blanklandscape’ using this knowledge – you can now download a park to overwrite this file. This means – click download – and when you select ‘New Sandbox’ your downloaded park will be there – the perfect and easiest way to use a park as a template
  • 1-Click Download. With 1-Click the application will download a random, new park to overwrite the ‘blanklandscape’ and then launch your RCT3 game – As if downloading a terraformed park as a template wasn’t easy enough!
  • CSO – This also allows my application to modify the style/themed folder and thus, install CSO there. This will be implemented at a future date.

Preview - As requested. When uploading your park, you can now see a preview of what it would look like. You can ensure the text is displayed currently and that the image is okay.
Line Breaks - Although small, the application will now display line breaks. Up to now, the application displays all text on the same line. V1.3 will address this minor issue.
Text Formatting - Text can now make use of formatting by using BB tags such as “[ b ]” and “[ / b ]” etc as you would expect in forums. I can’t promise complex formatting but definitely Bold, Italic, Underline and perhaps some text colours. This can be used across the application such as on the description and in comments.
News Feed - The news feed will be updated with Textformatting and will get an overhaul to improve its presentation. Other features include automatic URL embedding. For URLs that are included in the news, they will automatically be converted to a hyperlink so you can go straight to the URL.

 

Screenshots:

http://www.shyguysworld.com/index.php/topic,11843.msg304881.html#msg304881

Terra It 2

Another Terra It has been released.

I make a map live for you all to see.

This week it’s a park requested by ToofPik. Let me know of you requests on this post.

I hope the pictures better. I tried repositioning  adjusting the colours and settings on both the camera and my TV. If this gets popular I shall invest in better a quality setup.

Hope you enjoy!

Tutorial – Perfect Forest?

It’s been a while since I’ve done a tutorial but since they’ve been very popular – I thought I’d do some more.

Here’s something I’ve been meaning to do for sometime – forests. There’s loads of rides circling around the RCT3 world that are set in the forest and many look like this:

Shot0074To me this isn’t a coaster in a forest – it’s a coaster surrounded by trees. There’s a lot more to a forest/jungle than trees.

One thing to be aware of is contrast. Big objects look bigger when next to smaller objects. Small objects look smaller next to big objects. I remember by ‘black’ blazer for high school – it looked black – until you held it against something that was black and you saw that the blazer was actually dark purple. Contrasts emphasis’s the differences and this can be applied to creating forests.

Forests look denser when next to clearings. Having clearings in your forests or gaps in the trees will make the areas where there are trees look a lot denser. Theseclearings don’t really need to be blank. Put lots of foliage in there…Instead of trees…add plenty of shrubs – rocks etc.

Shot0077

In my example I even added some terrain texture.

The next thing to be aware off is the proximity of the trees to the coaster. Having the trees right up next to the coaster has many disadvantages – namely – the field of view is really reduced. When you’re on the ride especially on the ground level all you can see is trunks. Pull the trees back away from the coaster and you’ll see a lot more trees and the tree tops.

Shot0078

Remember: Are you building a coaster through a forest or are you building a forest around the coaster? Trees don’t naturally grow in lines. In nature – straight lines don’t exist. Make sure that your forest doesn’t have straight lines either. Stagger the trees – it looks a lot more realistic….

Shot0079As you can the trees around the ride have been pulled back and there is a lot less straight lines.

Forests also have undergrowth. Bushes, plants, shrubs – growing on the floor under the trees. Now the trees are pulled back, you can add these to where the trees used to be. Laying the area in front of the trees gives the impression that this undergrowth continues throughout the forest.

Adding different textures under the trees, rides, undergrowth and clearing highlights the differences between the different areas.

Shot0080

 

As I said…trees don;’t grow uniformed. They don’t grow next to each other in perfect lines. Delete a lot of these trees and leave gas between them. This will look a lot more realistic. Add some more trees too. Add different textures, different styles and different heights. This will look a lot more realistic.

In dense forests, there’s a lot going on. There’s a lot fighting for your eyes attention – loads to look at. Loads of different plants, trees, etc. Make sure your forest does the same. Lots of textures, lots of different things going on. You can add rocks coloured flowers etc.

In fact, if your ride is really cutting through the forest, add some tree stumps to where trees once were.

Another interesting thing is to raise the height of the ground for the trees furthest back. In theatres, the seats at the back are normally higher so people can see over the heads. Do the same here so the trees at the back can still be seen.

Shot0081In my opinion, this looks like a more realistic and dense forest than the first image. Remember I used in game scenery for this – imagine what it would look like using CSO?

Hope you find some of these hints useful :D

 

 

 

test

Backwards Productions Contest

The new backwards productions contest offers you freedom and a challenge.

Simply download any park from the manager with the text ‘challenge’ in its description and build whatever you like on the landscape.

The challenge comes from terraformed parks where land is limited or the terrain makes building difficult.

Can’t wait to see what you build!
More information can be found:

http://www.shyguysworld.com/index.php/topic,12728.0.html

Tutorial – Waterfalls

Waterfalls are very common. What’s more beautiful than a waterfall pouring down a mountain side? It’s the perfect backdrop to any ride or park.

I think, most people can make a simple waterfall – however…what I am going to show you is how to create a better one – using a technique and method that not even the makers at Frontier knew you can do…

Shot0776

Cast your mind back to the  Flattening in Increments tutorial. We are going to use this technique to create the base for the waterfall . Firstly…we want to raise the land in the are we wish the waterfall to be. Use any tool like for this (such as the ridge or hill tool). Now, flatten the top.

Shot0769Try and make sure that there is enough room at the top and that you have a flattish edge where you wish the waterfall to be.

Now we need to create two bodies of water. One at the top and one at the bottom. So, lower the ground at the bottom, and as in the flattening tutorial flatten out your water body. Perhaps make a river?

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It may be wise to reduce the size of the flatten tool for more accuracy.

Now create a body of water at the top of the ground too. Carefully, get the body of water so it is as close to the edge as posible.

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In the image above you can see that the body of water is right up to the edge of the side of the ground.

We have to do the bottom. Again, using the flatten tool, we want to ensure that there is one tile between the top and the bottom. This is the key. One tile between each heights.

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The image above shows my waterfall. There is one tile (highlighted in red) in between the two. Now we just have to add the water!

Shot0773

I’m going to do a bit of terraforming to mine first. Being careful (and using a small brush) I’m going to roughen up the side of the upper area.

A little bit of tropical terrain painting – and here is the final result. Just added the water and now…the magic button.

Select the waterfall body, click on the upper water body and then the lower and there you have it. A gushing waterfall!

So why is this better than the waterfall I showed at the start?

Three main reasons:

  1. The terrain under the waterfall isn’t flat as in the first image. It has a steep slope – which looks better in my opinion.
  2. You can texture it. You can blend your textures into the 1 tile gap. In the waterfall above you have a choice of what? 6 different textures. In this method you can use all of favourite textures and blending them. You can also use terrain conforming walls and fences!
  3. In the first picture you have a simple waterfall. In our waterfall, after you’ve added your waterfall – reselect the waterfall tool and click the top and then the lower body. Some times you can add two or three more waterfalls to to the same spot. This means your waterfalls look a lot bigger and powerfull. Unforuntatly for me this didn’t work in my example – but in some cases RCT3 will led you add multiple waterfalls.

You should have your beautiful waterfall now.

Here’s another little hint. If you try adjusting the ground around either body of water you will get an error message as shown.

Shot0775

However, don’t click any button – keep on terraforming and ignore the message. You can still edit the terrain!

So here’s my final waterfall!

Shot0774

Tutorial – The Art Of Textures

When it comes to texturing, there are three types of texturers: Those who do it right, Those who do it wrong. Those who don’t bother.

It’s a shame that a lot of people fall into the later category. Texturing is fantastic at adding detail to a ride. It’s also great to accompany scenery and to create the atmosphere. Texturing doesn’t have to take long –  infact a lot of my base texturing takes seconds and is rushed.

Before I start a map, I zoom out as far as RCT3 allows, select a size ’1′ brush and choose 3/4 textures and randomly drag my brush over. It’s messy, It’s random, It’s quick — but it is 10x better than not bothering at all!

Set the brush to size ’1′ zoom out and randomly cover the map in a few textures. You have a nice base to build on and it took seconds.

So what textures are good to use? That is up to you. Come up with your own blends, be artistic.I have written a little bio about each listing my personal uses.

It is also worth using a small brush set at size 1. Colour one tile a time. May seem like it’ll take a while but once you know waht you are doing you will be very surprised how quickly you can texture,

The Grasses

grasses

1) The standard default grass. Very useful as it complements most styles

2) Grass with Flowers. Nice to ad some colour to your grass. Make it look lush. I use this in large quantities when doing ‘bright’ tropical rides since its makes the grass look very colourful and healthy.

3) Rough Grass. A great grass that works for mountains or hill sides. Also works perfectly with dark rock when used for mountain slopes and cliffs. Use anywhere where the grass would be unhealthy – up in the mountains, peaking through the snow, in the middle of the destert. Its dark and dull colour also works nice in a spooky map.

4/5) The last two grasses are nice to add bold lush green. If you want healthly grass this is perfect. Blend it in with the grass with flowers and perhaps grass 1). Due to the health of this grass, I avoid using it alongside mud or the rougher grass. Sometimes I use it highlight hills.

Muds

mudds

1)  Cracked mud. Use this for your dry deserts. I have used it for a rock face since the texture can look almost rocky.

2) As with most muds blending it with grass works nicely. However, for a desert is great. Be sure to mix all of these muds together. They all work well together.

3) Dark sand. This is also great for a desert. it’s a lot softer and lighter than other mud. I use this for underwater areas such as rivers or sea as well as for softing the other muddy textures.

4) Used a long side the dark sand, the Light Sand is a nice beach texture for more generic beaches. It is light but works well alongside the dark sand and/or the lighter sands. It’s good to blend the more golden sands with darker/mud textures.

5) Grass and mud. Nice to add some colour to your mud textures. Also works great on grass to add some mud. I  often use it blended into most textures. I have used it to spray under trees to help emphasis forests or along river banks.

6) Mud. A wet mud. Probably not wise to use to against dry mud – a bit of an unrealistic contrast. However, it’s texture is simialr to the pink and grey rock textures so it blends well with them or to enable a smooth transitation from rock to mud/grass. It also blends with the riough snow to help the transistion from snow to grass/mud. Since it’s wet it looks look on river or lake beds.

Rocks

rocks1) Rock and Snow. Whilst the obvious and biggest use for this is for snowy mountains, this texture looks amazing when blended with rough grass for a cliff face. Despite its name ‘Rock and snow’ it is a good all round rock texture.

2) Probably one of the most commonly used textures. This dark rock is a greta texture for most themes. However, like all textures, advoid repetiion. This texture works great belnded with all other rock tetxures. Even try it with the pink rocks!

3) A pink rock. Use alongside the other pink rock to help vary the texture. Also great with the grey rock (6) and the wet mud since all three have the same texture.

4) A grey rock. A very unique texture. It is very light and almost has a blue tint. Use with the other light grey rocks for a great effect.

5) Pink Rock. Normally used in desert or tropical maps. Blend with the other pink rock or sand/mud. Also works well with the dark rock.

6) As with the other pink rock (3) use with wet mud and three blend together well. Also use it as a base for the dark rock. Mix it in for great effect

7) This doesn’t really have much of a texture. A great texture for a base of a mountain. Also good to soften the texture. Due to its light colour I’ve used it alongside snow to reduce the brightness of the white.

Snow

snow1) A rough snow. It has a very strong texture. Use for snow scenes or place small amounts on the mountain tips. Blend with the wet mud or the rock-snow.

2) Ice. A pale blue cool colour. I use it for waters edges or for underwater scenes to make the water look colder. Ensuring the water is shallow with ice underneath makes the water look very cold!
3) A simple snow texure. Doesn’t have much of texture. Getting snow that doesn’t look bare and just white is difficult. Use the other snow textures as well mud and rough grass to help break up the white.

Sand and Tarmac

Sanf1) Tarmac. Normally used for paths or roads, however, as a texsture it is powerful. Used sparinlg tarmac can be used to darken any landscape. Use it on mountain peaks to darken them, or in mud/rough grass to make things look dark. Works well in spooky landscape or as a base of a volcano. I have used it in shallow water to give the water a darker colour. I also like using it against pink rock.

2) Plain sand. Plain, but good for beaches. Pehaps belnd some other sand in (including the light/dark sand we saw earlier)

3) Blend with sand. I also use it for underwater or to highlight hills.

4) Sand with stones. Blend with the sand. Good for underwater. I have also used it against dark rock, since the colour and tetxure of the stones in it works nicely with other rocks.

Examples

Here are a few parks I have done as well as a description about the textures.

Shot0492

For the base, I have used a light sand. Using my messy base technique I have randomly mixed in some cracked mud and darker sand. Since it features a river, the area nearer the river has grass with flowers to show luch areas. The rock is just dark rock. Since the mountains are small, I don’t think the dark rock is over used.

Shot0493

In this mountain range, the lower area was a rough grass, to show tougher, less healthy grass. Over the top I have mixed some grass with mud and some normal grass to give the grass some colour.

The lake and it’s bank is wet mud.

As for the mountains I have used rock and snow. On the peaks I have added snow. To break up the repitetion I added some dark rock and some lighter rocks.

The snow is a blend of smooth and rough snow. I have added snow underneath the trees on the grass land. Adding textures under trees helps emphasis them.

FrightNight

Not one of mine, but this in game park uses a base of normal grass and some mud. The borders of the cliffs use rough grass with a mixture of dark rock and rock and snow. You can see how effective the rock and snow texture can be when used without snow.

GhostTown

Another in game map. This had a base of light sand. Near the cliffs, dark sand was added. The mountains have a blend of the pink rock.

 

A final note on texturing, take your time intialy.

Do not waste your time. The less visible an area is the less time you should spend working on it. In fact, the area around the immidate ride is all you should spend much time texturing.

Have fun!

Tutorial – Avenging The Contours!

If you’re familiar with walking and maps you will know about contour lines. If you don’t, contour lines show the height of ground as well as the gradient. The closer the contour lines are together the steeper the incline.

RCT3 has contour lines and using them may prove very useful - especially in terraforming. They provide an easy way to determine height as well as gradient. In the image below, there is a small mountain range. On right image I have turned on the contour lines and we can see the gradient of the hill.

Shot0724So, how can we use these contour lines to aid our terraforming. For a starter, we can determine what is smooth. From the image on the left you can see that the central area of the range is fairly smooth – perhaps suitable for paths to be run up it?
However, when we turned on the contour lines we can see that not as much land is as smooth as we thought. The contour lines will help us determine the gradient and find out where will be suitable for building on.

However, one of my biggest uses is that of texturing. Since we can see the gradient it’s great to use them as a guide to texture. For example, the the more lines and the tighter they are the more mountainous we need to make our texturing. For example, applying a light rock texture across the lines in the centre with a darker texture to the areas that are steeper.

Any other uses?
A big use is for rivers or other bodies of water.

Shot0727

From the following image we have a simple river. Applying details to the river bed such as

scenery or texture can be difficult whilst there is water in the river. If we remove the water and enable the contour lines, the contour lines show a line which we use to reflect the depth of the water.

I’m going to use apply some mud texture to the base of the river and some muddy grass to the sides of the river. Using the line it is easy to know when to stop each texture.

Shot0729

Now we have nice textured river. Perhaps some rocks or some underwater plants would be nice. Using the lines we can get a great idea of the depth of the water.

No may be a good time to introduce the terrain avenger. This tool, is used to smooth terrain. It’s great for smoothing hills. It’s great for taking out areas of steep or rough terrain. It’s great for things such as rivers or oceans as you can create a gradual beach.

I’m going to use it for the river now to smooth some of the banks down:
.Shot0733

In the image below I have smoothed one side of the river. You tell that many of the contour lines have disappeared indicating that the edges are smooth.

The final result is shown below:

Shot0731

As I said it’s great for making smooth beaches as the image below shows. The beach on the left has quite a sudden drop. However the one on the right is much smoother and realistic.

Shot0734

Whether you find lots of use for the contour tool or not it is definatly worth knowing about. The avenging tool however is an extremely powerful and useful too for creating smooth hills, smooth terrain or smooth beaches.