Pink Tulips / Free China talks to SimArchitect

Pink Tulips has been making buildings for SimCity since the days of SCURK. His buildings are among the best in the community.

SimArchitect: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to interview you today.

SimArchitect: When and how did you first find out about SimCity?
Pink Tulips/Free China: Oh, I started with the old stuff back before SimCity had numbers associated with it.

"I started with the old stuff back before SimCity had numbers associated with it."

SimArchitect: Did you buy SimCity 2000 Special Edition mainly to be able to SCURK?
PT/FC: More or less, but not until many years after it had come out. I wasn't so into drawing buildings then, but keep in mind this is a good six years ago.

SimArchitect: What was your first SCURK like and what did you think of it (at the time)?
PT/FC: I remember it quite clearly, actually. It was big. It was brown. It was boxy. It was bad. I used one of those template fills for the first and last time.

SimArchitect: How do you think your SCURKs compare to those of other SCURKers?
PT/FC: Well, i started out as most scurkers do, adjusting the in-game tiles. Mostly stretching some short buildings higher then i started drawing buildings from scratch. At first, i hadn't gotten gradients and shadows down completely, so the buildings had a "washed out" appearance. Later on the scurking got better, and thats when i started designing my own buildings. The scurk tutorial by i forgot what his name was helpful.

SimArchitect: When you found out about BAT what did you think it would be like?
PT/FC: At first i thought bat would let me make stuff that looked like the buildings in the game, just like scurk. Big mistake. Big mistake made by everyone including maxis.

" Mostly stretching some short buildings higher then i started drawing buildings from scratch."

SimArchitect: Did it disappoint you?
PT/FC: There really was no reason for sc3urk to come out so much later yes, bap was disappointing...... but... er, i mean bat, but it was new, so it offered quite a lot. The ease of making 3D was nice. I started out making a set of military base tiles including bunkers, trailers, shelters, etc... a boxy, nondescript things.

SimArchitect: What is your favourite BAT (by you or someone else)?
PT/FC: Let's see, my favortie by myself would be the Miss Smiley's Edifice building. Let me tell you about it. Its big. Its blue.
...long dramatic pause...
Its beautiful. Here's the story: I drew the building originally for an early comic strip titled "Mr. Bahg's Galactic Adventure". Unfortunately, the content of the comic is extremely inappropriate and promotes the use of narcotics, so I don't have it available online. Anyway, I developed a lot of architectural drawing skills in the making of the comic to put backgrounds into these sci-fi locales. The Miss Smiley's Edifice building is from a planet which is a lot of rolling hills with glass skyscrapers here and there. This building is the government building. There's a scene where Mr. Bahg gets ambushed by galactic police while out on a balcony and gets hit by a rocket that carries him off, but him being a brown paper bag he survives the fall. There is a picture of the building at More on the batting of the building now...
I fiddled with the original glass textures to get one I wanted, and painted the building. I adjusted another glass texture to make a gold texture for highlights. The real impressive part is the roof. It's a 22.5 degree angle in bat. This required some optical illusion such as multiple colors for the roof depending on if the section was flat or sloped and the side of the building had a roof line decalled in. Still, it's not 100% perfect. More like 75%. Two words: bat sux.

SimArchitect: What do you think of the improvements made to BAP compared to BAT?
PT/FC: Well, props rocked as Jawood has shown, with props, anything is possible. Props are the only improvement in fact, there was even a dis-improvement.

SimArchitect: Which was?
PT/FC: When you rotated a building 90 degrees, the shadow rotated with it!
SimArchitect: I noticed that. It seemed rather strange.

SimArchitect: Do you think BAP buildings look better than BATs?
PT/FC: Definitely. However, I learned a very important skill then. this bap skill was gradients. I found out that one paint up the whole side of a building made it look flat. For tall buildings it had to be exaggerated through multiple paints. If there is one thing to remember about bapping that is it.

SimArchitect: What do you think of SC3URK?
PT/FC: Sc3urk came out way overdue. Oh yeah, I made the first sc3urk ever. It was before sc3urk even came out.
SimArchitect: how did you do that?
PT/FC: Well, it wasn't usable in the game. It was the Mexico Tower. Pic at I made it right about when Bap came out to show that sc3urk was necessary, and that people could generate good sc3urks.

"I made the first sc3urk ever."

SimArchitect: Do you plan on doing any more BAPs or BATs now that you have SC3URK?
PT/FC: I still do bap's occasionally. Bat never. Bap is good for boxy, asymmetric buildings. That kind of stuff takes too long to sc3urk.

SimArchitect: Do you replace buildings when you play SC3KU?
PT/FC: Usually just one. You know that really ugly pink monstrosity in the Asian building set? The 2x2 thing that looks like a combiniation of this building in hong kong and the shinkong building in taipei. That thing is ugly! And since it's a 2x2 it shows up a lot. so, it always gets replaced. Most other buildings are landmarks instead, this makes for more variety.
SimArchitect: What do you replace it with?
PT/FC: I replaced it with one I made... the Taiwanimation Studio building. Pic at I made it especially to replace it. I don't make 2x2s that often otherwise.

SimArchitect: Where do you get your inspiration from for your buildings?
PT/FC: Mmm... inspiration. This is a story worth telling. Let's start from SCURK again. When I saw people scurking at first I though, hey a lot of this stuff is nice. This was back when SCURK HOF operated. I got a lot of inspiration from that then when I started making the future set "2100" a lot came from pics of under-construction and proposed skyscrapers found online as well as the "Mr. Bahg" comic strip. Then, when BAT came out, after making various stuff I did the Taiwan Tiles because the original SC3K looks way too American. If you look at the buildings closely the signs actually say something unlike signs on maxoid buildings. There are some jokes, some cultural tidbits, some political propaganda, some self-pluggery :-) Then one day a couple summers ago I got on this building drawing spree. You can see the results at I think I did twenty buildings in one shot. I just made stuff up for those, did stuff that looked good thats when i really got interested in drawing. Later that year i started my first major comic, which looked reasonably good, Work City ( this generated some more futuristic buildings. After Work City, I started drawing May We Live In Interesting Times. This comic is set in ancient China, but in the story, technology advances very rapidly thus buildings did too.

"The original SC3K looks way too American."

SimArchitect: What do you do outside of the SimCity Community?
PT/FC: Oh, a lot. I do much drawing, a lot. I'm in other game communities as well, such as Civilization where I made building tiles :-) Mostly by shrinking down BAT/BAP/SCURK/SC3URK :-P People there always wondered how I made stuff that fast that detailed :-) Drawing wise I'm also into some art communities. I like to eat chinese food. In chinese speaking areas chinese food is called food. Its just as good in fact, i'm eating some now. Red bean buns which reminds me, i once BAT'ted a food factory...

SimArchitect would like to thank Pink Tulips / Free China for allowing us to interview him.