Johnimo, widely considered the best BATer in the Sim community agreed to talk to SimArchitect.
"I got more addicted to the game when sc2000 came out"
SimArchitect: What are your favourite parts of SimCity?
Johnimo: Well...since SimCity 3000 it must be BAT and BAP ,but if you talk about the game itself then it must be the entire control you have to create a City.I got more addicted to the game when sc2000 came out because of the isometric view and it just got better since then.I especially like the look of your own creations and i'm fascinated about architecture ,so....
SimArchitect: With SimCity 2000, did you ever create any SCURKs?
Johnimo: No,i didn't.I've drawn some cartoons in Deluxe Paint on an Amiga in earlier days but that's it.I knew it existed ,bought it and didn't do anything special with it besides stretching the skyscrapers of the default tileset to their maximum height limit.:o)
"besides stretching the skyscrapers of the default tileset to their maximum height limit"
SimArchitect: So your real start with custom buildings for SimCity was BAT?
Johnmio: Yes,i was anxiously looking forward to BAT.
SimArchitect: Did you start simple or did you jump straight into those amazing buildings like the sc3000.com headquarters?
Johnimo: I've started with some B-A-D or ,lets say,some very cartoonish looking buildings back then.The first one i've created was the Yellow Matter Hotel and was very proud it.Only now i realise how amateuristic it looks.I am not ashamed about any of my creations though.The next step in BATing was to make some simple real-life buildings, that were'nt to difficult to create,after a few creations,i tried to add as much detail as possible. I still wasn't ready for complex structures.
SimArchitect: What do you think of your first buildings in comparison with your later BATs?
Johnimo: They pale in comparision with later ones
SimArchitect: Do you prefer to make immense skyscrapers or smaller buildings?
Johnimo: It depens.When i have i good idea,i just want to make it.But to answer your question is very difficult.For example:I loved to create the Norwest skyscraper,but the Johnicondo will be one of my all-time personal favorits.It was my intention to make a dull apartment building with balconies,a few hours later ,the Johnicondo was born.
"They pale in comparision with later ones"
SimArchitect: Your sc3000.com headquarters building (which I've mentioned before) was chosen by Maxis to be put on the SimCity 3000 Unlimited CD-Rom. How did you feel when you were asked?
Johnimo: I was very proud and it was completely unexpected .I know if you open some Box covers of Unlimited that you see a whole range of BAT's by fellow guest BAT-architects and i received fan-mail from then on *shines*
SimArchitect: You've probably had plenty of time now (over 1 year) to try BAP. Do you think BAT is a great improvement over BAT?
Johnmio: Yes ,even smal props that are used in some smart ways,just to give more attention to little details do add a lot of atmosphere in the blocky BAT enviroment.Trees are a great addition too,just to give an idea of scale and to non-BAPpers what on earth is standing there on thet tile if you're bad at making buildings :o).But i appreciate well made BAT's just as much!Intelligent use of blocks is still the most attractive thing in BAP to me.
SimArchitect: What would you have wanted added to BAP which wasn't?
Johnmio: Round blocks ,more angles and just smaller blocks could help, i guess. The ability to create detailed cars, trucks a swimmingpool and so on within the BAP-tool itself. Like some advanced virtual form of LEGO.That could make BAP even more attractive.
SimArchitect: Do you think that it might be added in a later version (if one is released)?
Johnmio: I don't know.But if a BAP will come with sc4000,it must be in many ways superior to the BAP we have now.I have little doubt's about that.
SimArchitect: Lots of people compare BAT/BAP with lego. Do you think that is such a bad thing?
Johnmio: I think that's one of the best compliments to BAP or Lego :o).But i understand some criticism.BAP is too blocky in certain circumstances.Abetter version will hopefully come,it's just too attractive. IMO.Let's just say that i find it very challenging and satisfying to hide some of the blockiness of BAT in my creations.Don't hide all the blocks completely though...that would take away the charm of BAT;o).
SimArchitect: Have you ever tried a multi-tiled BAP or BAT?
Aaron Otta: Nope never,i 've seen some impressive stuff by others though.
"I think that's one of the best compliments to BAP or Lego"
SimArchitect: You've probably seen other people's SC3URKs on websites like SimArchitect. What do you think of them in comparison with BATs and BAPs?
Johnimo: Well...first i want to say that people who create SC3URKs deserve just as much ,if not even more,credit for their awesome contributions.But you will never hear me say that a good SC3URK building is superior to a good BAT building.You just can't expect to have a round building in BAP like one can draw themselves as SC3URK pro's can. If i want to make a good building like the World Financial Center in New York,i'm much better off with BAP and a few props,compared to SC3URK IMO.
SimArchitect: You used to participate in the sc3000.com discussion forum quite often. You haven't posted there in a while. Any reason?
Johnimo: Yeah, i was contacted by Maxis almost more than a year ago. And they suggested me to create a portfolio in 3dmax. I received a version of 3dMAX from a friend who owns a software store but i haven't created anything serious with it. While,i haven't finished anything completely i am still playing with it and test some plug-ins,i have created a few rollercoasters in it....
SimArchitect: Are you planning any new buildings for "public release" for everyone else to "WOW" over?
Johnimo: I don't know.... Maybe it's time to finish something awesome in 3dmax.
"Maybe it's time to finish something awesome in 3dmax"
SimArchitect: And to finish off, what other games are you interested in?
Johnimo: Age of Empires;The Conquerors lately and oh yeah MIdtown Madness 2 I'm in a Microsoft mood...but i will come back the MAXsims. :o)
SimArchitect would like to thank Johnimo for allowing us to interview him.