|Founding||Founded on 11 January 2003|
Simtropolis (ST) is most likely the largest and most developed site in the whole community, and is based in Ontario, Canada. It was started by dirk on January 11, 2003, shortly before the release of SimCity 4. It is home to the Simtropolis Exchange (STEX), an open file exchange.
The site is technically divided into four major sections: the Forums, the STEX, the Modds & Downloads section, and ST Chat.
Like many fansites, the Forums are the heart-and-soul of Simtropolis. Most of the boards are related to SimCity 4, though the number of boards has been decreasing as of late, as several of them were merged in September 2008. There is also a single forum for SimCity Societies, one for Cities XL, three subforums for The Sims 2, and an active Off-Topic area.
The Simtropolis Exchange, or STEX, is an open exchange to which anyone can upload, the only such exchange apart from the main EA Simcity 4 Exchange. This open arrangement has both benefits and drawbacks. The file size limit for the STEX is 10MB, and anything larger must go in the Modds & Downloads section.
Modds & Downloads
Simtropolis has a section on its server dedicated to modifications (or "modds") made for SimCity 4--on the site, this section is known as the Modds & Downloads section. Examples of modds hosted include the Network Addon Mod, the Sim Mars modd, various game tweaks, and much more. There are also a number of 3rd party applications and tools housed in this section that help with the creation of modds, as well as generally enhancing the SimCity 4 experience. Some of these include ILive's Reader, wounagaine's SC4 Terraformer (albeit now outdated), DarkMatter's FiSHMan, among others.
There are a few people in the SC4 community who are noted for being prolific modders and application creators. The following users are perhaps the most notable in this regard; their accomplishments and works are listed below. If you click the link under their names, you are directed to their People: article, where you can find more information.
Tropod is one of the most prolific modders in the history of SimCity 4 content, whose work was crucial in laying the foundation for the entire area of modding. Among other things, he founded the NAM Team, contributing a substantial body of work to the Network Addon Mod continuing to this day, and his discoveries on building stages eventually led to the development of the Colossus Addon Mod.
ILive's Tools have been a standard in modd creation for years. His "Reader" program, in particular, first made it possible to create modifications for SC4, and have been crucial to the modding community since it was made. ILive has created programs that, among other things, help in changing building parameters and viewing props.
RalphaelNinja is perhaps the most prolific modder in the community, having created many of the early modds that today are considered essential for the full enjoyment of SC4. His credits include the Radical Ordinance Mod and the Abandonment Dilaptation Mod
The Omnibus is a section of the site that contains a series of tutorials on various game topics, forum usage, and interviews with various members.
The ST Chat is a chat room hosted on-site, which is known for its particularly colorful discussions.
The so-called Simtropolis Site Hack of 2008 was an event on May 23 to 25 2008, in which Simtropolis experienced the server equivalent of a break-in in their database. Malicious code was injected into the database through a loophole in the forum software. The code was linked back to a Chinese group attacking major websites. Simtropolis was not directly attacked, but was "in the way".
Simtropolis experienced periodic outages over the next 3 days, until only the forums were back online. A week later, the STEX came back online as well.
The event resulted in a wide-spread truncation of many longer posts on the forums, resulting in major damage to numerous long-running City Journals, as well as numerous tutorials. Many CJ authors searched Google Caches to retrieve lost data.
Awards and Events
Every year, Simtropolis hosts the Golden Llama Awards, better known as the Trixies. Any member registered at Simtropolis is eligible for a Trixie.
Member of the Month
At the beginning of every month, the MOTM Committee unveils the past months member and employee of the month. Any registered member can be eligible for the MOTM award, however it is noted that anyone who campaigns or attempts to fish for a nomination will be disqualified from winning for life. Nomination can occur at any point during the month, by a private message to the MOTM_inbox account. An explanation of why the member was nominated is recommended, as it assists the Simtropolis staff in making their decisions during the voting process.
After nominations close at around the 25th of the month, members of the Simtropolis staff and the MOTM Committee place their votes for who they believe should win the MOTM award. The employee of the month is determined by the admin staff. Voting for these awards is not public in order to prevent cheating and bad voting. The full list of winners can be found here
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