|City Showcases||City Journals (Forum Section)|
City Journals (Blog Section)
|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 six major sections: the Forums, the STEX, City Journals, User Blogs, the Omnibus, 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 filesize limit was 10MB, but has apparently been increased as part of the Simtropolis 6.0 upgrade.
With the upgrade to Simtropolis 6.0, a new, blog-style section for City Journals (CJs) was opened, separate from the forums themselves. This feature has been in the works for some time and was nearly implemented as part of Simtropolis 5.0. even with the new section, the original CJ forum, however, is still open and actively utilized.
The User Blogs section was added shortly after the advent of the Simtropolis 6.0 upgrade. Any individual user can start an ST Blog (or "stog", as they are sometimes called) and the subject matter of the blogs varies widely. Some users have even taken to using the Blogs section for City Showcases rather than using the new dedicated CJ section.
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, and has a core group of "regulars".
Simtropolis Help Squad
The Simtropolis Help Squad, commonly abbreviated SHS, was founded to create articles addressing commonly asked questions and a more obvious way to answer any questions newer members have, directing them to an article if one pertains to their questions. While they still create new articles, the SHS is nowadays also the group responsible for getting regular-member created articles into the Omnibus.
SHS members are generally very knowledgeable about the game, and use this knowledge to help new members to the best of their ability, answering the questions they have on the forums.
The Simtropolis Help Squad was founded in 2005 as a team that would both create articles for the Omnibus and assist Simtropolis members with their individual issues and questions. The group quickly gained popularity, and was given a private forum by the ST Administrators.
When Simtropolis upgraded to version 5.0, the old Omnibus had to be separately converted into a format that would be compatible with the new, forum-based Omnibus. The SHS was given this task, which was the first of several tasks directly given to the SHS by the ST Administration.
One of the advantages of the forum-based Omnibus was it allowed the ST administration to appoint Omnibus moderators who could directly upload and edit articles in the Omnibus. With this ability, the SHS was able to cut out the 'middle man' that was the administration, and it was able to add articles to the Omnibus much more efficiently.
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