March goal: We're almost there! 03/20/2017Hi Community! We're almost there for our March goals! I just wanted to keep the momentum going so if you are able to help, please donate and get some gifts in exchange! Thanks so much to those who have helped out this month, we really appreciate it.
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Please view the full size resolution link here before casting your vote! The gallery doesn't tend to do mosaics/panoramas a lot of justice.
The harbour city in all its glory. You may have seen my Sydney recreation before in my CJ True Earth here, but you've never seen it before like this. I felt like a panorama was the best way to truly capture this amazing city for this final challenge. This panorama showcases the entire center of the city from Hyde Park on the far left to North Sydney on the right, just past the iconic Harbour Bridge. To top things off, I decided to showcase the city in a sunset setting - while Sydney is amazing at all times of the day, I felt like there was just something truly magical about seeing Sydney in the sunset.
This scene features countless buildings imported into the game - real, ingame assets, just like any other BAT you would download and use in the game yourself. The bridge and highway system can are completely modular, a picture illustrating this can be seen here. This scene as a whole also required extensive custom content creation. A majority of the buildings had to be custom lotted in addition to making 40-50 custom made Sydney road textures, complete with authentic bus and bike lanes.
Welcome to a short (or maybe not so short, depends on how quick everyone dies), Banished CJ. I've just picked up this game and the nature of it lends itself so well to storytelling, I just had to do something about it. Pepeekskill is only my second city, which I almost managed to kill off before it had started. But something odd happened from all the death, I had a well laid out city and infrastructure for a tiny number of people. Careful cultivation saw me bring it back from the brink, hopefully that will continue, although progress in terms of population has been slow.
Either way, the whole saga has given me a good story idea or two, so let's just see where that takes us...
Note: All names used in the CJ are the ones of the actual citizens of Pepeekskill. Any likeness to persons living, dead or zombies should be really unlikely.
Part1: The Story of Neil
A long time ago, on the banks of the River Pepeek, a small band of settlers, Banished from their homeland, arrived, exhausted from their ordeal. The six families who had wandered through forests, over mountains and hills and waded through rivers had nothing more to give. It is here, on the banks of that river, that our story begins with Neil, one of the children who were dragged along. Listening to the conversations and arguments of the adults, while he tried to forget the biting cold and the never-ending hunger, Neil would have no notion that his memories would hold such significance in the settlement's history...
"We've come far enough, they will never have followed us here."
That night, the leader was dragged from his sleep by a pack of wolves. He was not seen again. Neil remembered only parts of the commotion the next morning, but what happened next was clear. The group decided to settle here, building rudimentary shelter to protect them from wild creatures and other potential threats. Within two weeks the first signs of civilisation were appearing, within six, a number of wooden huts and a barn for storage was built. During the first days, the river had been named the Pepeek, and while building, a tributary was discovered nearby and named the Skill Waters. The settlement on the corner of the two was thusly named Pepeekskill, which would become home to Neil for the rest of his life.
In 1602, a mere seven years after the founding of Pepeekskill, a series of terrible events conspired, leading to a food shortage and mass starvation. Just four people made it from the original group: three adults and Neil, the only surviving child. The memories of those events remained with Neil his whole life, but rather than allow the terrible experience to destroy him, Neil used his abilities, so as to avoid a repeat of the disaster. He helped setting up the town’s school, hospital and oversaw resource management as a young adult, always trying to impart the experience of those unfortunate early settlers to the next generation. Out of the most horrible beginning imaginable, in his lifetime the settlement suddenly seemed to have a bright future, one that would last for generations to come.
Neil had been married to one of the other three surviving members of the original founders, Scarla. He was widowed at the age of 76, when Scarla passed away. They never had any children of their own, but had done a fine job helping to raise the other youngsters that grew up around them.
In his eighties, he became the last of the original settlers of Pepeekskill. Most of his life spent as a hardworking labourer, in his later years he took the more relaxing position at the infrequently busy trading post in the settlement, where he could sit idly by watching the flows of the River Pepeek and it's fishermen making a living, contemplating his long life and contributions towards the settlement in that time.
Of the founding principles of life in Pepeekskill, a great many had come from the wise head on Neil's shoulders. Having nearly witnessed the end of the settlement before it had barely begun, he always sought to ensure security of the basics needed for life. The harsh lessons of his childhood turned into a wisdom he would pass along to all those in the settlement. For everyone knows Neil from his various civic activities. Pepeekskill has become a thriving locale, which always ensures that plenty of food, warm clothing, tools and fuel are kept in reserve. From time to time, others would laugh and mock Neil, claiming his reserves were too great. But his answer was always the same; "Take not what you want today, if you might need it tomorrow". Over the years, his planning and policies have proved sufficient to weather any storm to befit the settlers, keeping them healthy and safe. The settlement even manages a reasonable surplus these days, which can be used to barter for goods the settlement needs whenever a passing trader arrives at the small port.
Early infrastructure had been built before the disaster in 1602, starting with the main bridge across the Pepeek River, thus allowing access across it, in addition to one of its main tributaries, the Skill Water, where a second smaller bridge stands. The two rivers meet at the settlement's current south-western border. These vital links have proven their worth by allowing citizens to gather resources over a much larger area than would otherwise have been possible, helping to ensure that food and materials have been in plentiful supply, aiding the continued expansion of the settlement. Despite the troubles, a small herd of sheep have been carefully nurtured over a few generations and today the herd numbers over 25 animals. This provides a good quantity of both mutton and wool, the former of which makes a delicious local stew. Whilst the wool contributes to keep residents warm in even the coldest of weather, used as it is in the manufacturing of clothing. Recently the herd has been capable of producing sufficient meat and textiles, that products from the sheep have become the most important asset for trading with the outside world.
Potential mining sites have been scouted, located north of the existing forestry operations. Talk of potential mining and quarrying as a large source of trade and growth have been touted by many locals.
But the future of Pepeekskill is still far from decided.
In the year 1683, aged 89, Neil passed away from natural causes. As the settlement nears its centenary, the population is close to 40. Pepeekskill will forever remember Neil and the other three founders who survived the terrors of 1602 to bring their settlement into existence. Their stories have passed into legend and are taught in the local school as the history of the settlement. The people of Pepeekskill will be looking for a way to immortalise Neil in future. But for the time being, life carries on, one which is still hard and unforgiving. But everyone knows that preparedness is key to survival. A lesson that is baked into the history of Pepeekskill.
By Cyclone Boom
Our friends at GOG.com had a special City-Builder discount sale! (Closed as of February 13, 2PM GMT)
As part of this, Simtropolis has been given a bunch of free keys to selected games to give away!
Winners announced here!
If you want one of these games, simply reply to this thread by answering ONE of the questions below:
What's your favourite city-building game, and why will you always be fond of it? Write a creative and entertaining review (good or bad) of any city-building game. The ways in which custom content has transformed the city-building game you play. Tell us about your most memorable city-building experience, funny, tragic or otherwise.
There is no minimum or maximum, but aim to write at least 50 words.
Q: How are prize winners selected?
A: The Admins will pick their favourite replies below, so don't delay, post away!
Q: How many times can I reply?
A: Just one reply per person please.
Q: Can I add images or video to my post?
A: Sure! Feel free to be creative to make your post stand out.
Q: Does it have to be written in a certain style?
A: No, not at all. Just aim to make it creative and entertaining, whether fact or fiction...
Q: How long does this run for?
A: The closing date to enter is Monday 13th February at 23:59 (EST).
Winners will be able to select ONE of the following City-Building classics, to add to their personal collection:
SimCity 2000 Special Edition
Pharaoh + Cleopatra
SimCity 3000 Unlimited
Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom
Lethis - Path of Progress
Whatever your experience with a City-Builder, we'd love to hear it.
Full size version (~4MB) of the GIF on the first comment.
Please keep in mind that a time lapse animation was one of the official suggested ideas for this challenge on the forum thread.
An animated GIF displaying my recreation of the Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas in Meteora, Greece along with some of the surrounding scenery. Wanting to feel closer to heaven, the locals would build their monasteries high in the sky, perched precariously on the edge of sheer granite rock cliffs - truly an amazing sight to behold.
One of the frames in this picture (fall) was originally featured in my "Greece - Part II" update in my CJ, True Earth, so for this GIF I decided to showcase Meteora in its entirety with Spring, Summer, and Winter frames as well. Each frame showcases extensive custom lotting, intricate MMPing, and custom content creation (various terrain mods created for this picture + a number of new MMPs made/modded heavily)
The first frame starts off with summer in Meteora. Predictably, this time is the most popular season for tourists to come visit Meteora. The harvest season that begins in late summer is a big attraction as well for tourists.
The second frame displays some of Meteora's famous fall foliage. Oaks and maples among others will come alive, displaying various shades of red, orange, and yellow. This coupled with the much more comfortable temperatures makes it a great time to come visit.
The third frame shows off Meteora blanketed under a layer of snow in the midst of a snowfall. Despite Meteora's relatively close proximity to the Ioanian and Aegean Seas, it's just high enough in the mountains (1,000-2,000 feet above sea level) to receive regular snow in the winter. Additionally, the mountains will essentially "block out" gusts from the sea, allowing for temperatures to vary wildly. For those wanting to visit Meteora in the wintertime, be prepared for frigid temperatures and constant frost.
Before looping, the fourth and final frame shows Meteora in the spring. The cold winters often delay Springtime for a bit, but when it comes it can truly be quite beautiful. Be prepared for fog/rain showers however, a common site during this time of the year.
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