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SimCity 4 terrain

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Just from looking at the game, and with my limited experience, I think they used a 3d landscape engine and used pre rendered tiles, for objects that are static like a house and power lines. If you notice if you zoom in and your computer is kinda slow the tiles are all blocks so the scene needs to be scaled. Would this effect happen if they where using 3d mods for everything?

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I just did a little more research- the entire game was actually done in 3D. I thought it was 2D becuase of the way the shadows fell on some surfaces but not others, even though they should have. Must just have been not-perfect shadow-creation code. Oh well, great game anyway.

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