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      Hi Community, this is a public appeal for help to keep the STEX up and running! We currently need your help to offset some of our operational costs and upgrades! As you know, we've always relied on community donations to help keep the website running. And while all our admins and moderators volunteer their time to managing the site and community, we do have modest expenses that we need to cover each month which includes our server hosting fees, software and support licenses, etc. So lately, we've experienced a slump with donations and we're beginning to feel the pinch! We would really appreciate your support by way of a donation of any amount in order to keep the site up and running. Of course, as always, we'll send you a gift with a minimum donation as a Thank You. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to PM me!  Sincerely; Dirktator & The Admins PS. Thank you to those who have stepped up and donated the last couple weeks -- we really appreciate it!

City Journals

Our community city journals

  1. Around her third week in Martin Falls, that long ago summer, P. R. began to feel antsy. She soon understood what she was going through : it was the Green Blues Attack. Too much green ! Too much peace & quiet ! So, as she had done while in Kathy Vale, she escaped again to The Big City, Zinfandel. But this time she decided to do the Kultur thing -- no more follies at the amusement park. Let's go highbrow, she thought. Museums, art galleries, theatre (the live kind, not the movies...) and music :  first might, the Opera -- Cosi FanTutte. Then, realizing the Science Museum blue dome was just on the other side of the track with its reclaimed banks -- parks and bike paths--, she went there the morning after.


    Then it was the Oceanographic Museum --with a little detour by the Aquarium.


    In the afternoon, a movie theatre beckoned, but P. R. resisted virtuously and went instead to the Museum of Arts & Crafts (they take their arts & crafts very seriously in Zinfandel, she thought : what grand building !) Then not far, there were the City Archives, with a big “Zinfandel through the Ages” exposition .P. R. is a sucker for old engravings and nostalgic sepia photos, so she went.


    There she met an interesting older gentleman, who directed her to a smaller museum, not as frequented but worth the visit for its semi-private collection of Seventeenth and Eighteenth century miniatures. “Well, as long as they provide magnifying glasses...” They did, so she went (it's the small Mediterranean looking building...) The older gentleman turned out be the curator of that little museum and an excellent tour guide.


    There is a nice park close to it, but  she was feeling a little tired -- and the day was getting hotter,  so she went and did some laps at the Municipal Swimming Arena to get the kinks out of her back.


    The day after that, as she wasn't yet Kultured out, she went to the Gavern Art Museum, close to one of the many city libraries -a modern, all glass one (in summer, Museums are decidedly cool, aren't they ? )


    And then she went back to her hotel, because she had kept the whole last day for the pièce de résistance : The Zinfandel Gallery, a multi-media, multi-shopping, multi-restaurants, multi-everything she had been told about enthusiastically while in Kathy Vale but had declined visiting during her first escape to the Big City. In prevision, she had booked her room at the nearby Karhu hotel. (in fact there were yet two other museums in the vicinity, but she called it quits).


    Oh my, multi it was ! (and multi-levelled : the shopping was all underground.)





    After that, a culturally satiated P. R. went back to Martin Falls, more than ready ready to tackle more weeks of lazy, quiet greenery !

  2. Latest Entry


    Now that I have the LUT sorted out (for now), here's some shots of the new Abbey Park that I mentioned in the last entry (the last picture). 

    Abbey Park not only has a dog park, it also has a gazebo that overlooks a vast garden of blue, light blue, and white wildflowers.


    Across from the gazebo is a long row of red and pink wildflowers with a row of purple flower. On each of this long row are Japanese Cherry trees.


    Next to the gazebo and accompanying garden is a carousel for patrons to enjoy while they're walking through the park.


    Further down the main path of the park is another garden. Surrounded by small, white rosebushes, pink and red wildflowers, and then a circle of large, red rosebushes, the cherry tree in the center is the focus of this area. Benches line the circular pathway, so visitors can sit down and enjoy now only the view but the array of aromas.


    After enduring months of construction, University Blvd has come along way from simply being the edge between a forested area prone to criminal activity and is now lined with beautiful bushes, trees and flowers.


    A view of from the northern end of the park shows the park's overall features and surroundings.


    I hope you've enjoyed this entry. I had a lot of fun building the park. Apart from the university's campus, this is the first actual park that I've "designed" and plopped. It was a lot of fun.

    As always, I welcome any feedback, critique, suggestions, etc. Feel free to like, rate, and/or comment!

  3. Arapari

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    Latest Entry

    Edifício Banar (Banar Building)

    Endereço: Rua João Brícola, 1539, Centro

    Adress: João Brícola Street, 1539, Downtown


    Banar is short for BANco de ARapari (Bank of Arapari), it was built in 1939 and is one of the most emblematic buildings of Arapari. It was projected to be similar to the Empire State Building.

    It was the tallest building of Arapari until 1960, when it was surpased by Mirante do Vale Building (still the tallest building of Brazil). In the 50's, an antenna was installed to broadcast the TV Tupi channel, the first brazilian TV network.




    Edifício Banar seen from the Ayrton Senna expressaway.




  4. Thanks for the comments. :)  

    It's time to continue our little story. I warn you, it will contain spoilers of Initial D. 

    Fujiwara Takumi is just a normal highschooler. Like all the students, he got his driving license not long ago during the his last year of high-school. He always looks bored and distant, with a look on his face as if he was always day dreaming. Despite all that, Takumi holds a secret he hasn't told anyone yet.. 

    This is where he lives, with his father who runs a tofu shop, not far from the central station.

    After school Takumi works part-time in the town's gas station with his classmate Itsuki. It's there they met Iketani and Kenji, two street racers who run the local friendly amateur team Akina Speed Stars.

    Every morning, Takumi wakes up very early to help with his father's delivery. He has to drive the fresh tofu all the way up the mountain pass to deliver the hotels. 

    Nobody knows it, but it was his father's intention to train him to get better at driving.. 

    Everyday for the past five years Takumi has helped his father, driving illegally by all weather.

    He knows better than anyone every corner and straightway of this road. For the past five years he has become the legendary "Ghost of Akina" despite nobody knowing it was him..

    For Takumi, helping his father is a hassle, he wants to finish the delivery the fastest way possible.. Which is why and the reason he got to the level of driving he is. 


    More to come soon..

  5. This entry is quite different then my usual updates. I'm not completely finished with Dresden, but I figured now might be a good time to take a little break from city focused entries. It's been a long while since I made an E2 entry, the last(and first) one I made was over 9 months ago.

    E2 is short for Encyclopedic Entry and it is a comprehensive analysis/overview of one specific system covering the entire region.
    Today's E2 will focus on the  commuter rail network of Pretoria, named Fastraxx. Since I work in the rail industry this entry will be very elaborate and will reference many industry specific terms with an extensive amount of dialog. If that's not your cup of tea I would suggest skipping to the "Synopsis of the Fastraxx system" about half way down the page which hopefully will be interesting to all :)

    The Fastraxx network was established by the Pretoria Regional Governing Authority(PRGA) in 1969 shortly after and in compliance with the Rail Safety Compliance Act(RSCA) of 1967. The RSCA was an act of parliament/congress passed into law on July 17, 1967. The act banned passenger trains from operating on any line where freight trains operated on. The act was in response to the Continental 51 disaster, where a commuter train speed collided into a stalled freight train which resulted in 156 fatalities(5 crew, 151 passengers) as well as several other less deadly but increasingly frequent incidents leading up to it. Think Chatsworth 2008(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Chatsworth_train_collision), which lead to the U.S. Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 mandating PTC on all lines, except PTC didn't exist in Pretoria back in 1967, so this was the nation of Albion's solution. The RSCA had 5 year deadline date of July 16, 1972 for complete separation. Unlike the U.S. Rail Safety Improvement Act, no delays would be accepted. If a the passenger rail service was not running on a rail line with no freight trains, then it would not run at all! The only exception being non-revenue passenger equipment trains(no passengers aboard).

    Prior to this it was very common for preexisting rail lines to serve both passenger and freight traffic in Pretoria and across the country. Few cities even had an established commuter rail networks. It was common place for the freight companies themselves provided low frequency passenger train service on some of their lines using antiquated equipment several decades old. The Fed's however did operate a national long distance train service called Hallmark(Albion's version of Amtrak) which was established back in 1923.

    Prior to the RSCA there were dozens of freight line companies operating across the nation. The RSCA created an environment where mergers and consolidation between these companies became advantageous, knowing that the local governments would be paying out large sums of money to purchase rail 'rights of way'(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-of-way_(transportation)) for use in the creation of passenger-only rail lines. It was around this time that the ICR(Intercontinental Railway), GWR(the Great Western Railway) and ACER(Ablion Central Railway) established themselves as the three main railways of the nation, though only two of them operate in Pretoria region(the ICR & GWR).

    Pretoria, the nation's third largest city by population wasted no time getting its act together. Following several local freight mergers, it quickly bought up multiple rail right of ways that were either deemed excessive stock or being abandoned by the freight companies. And on Nov 22, 1969 regular commuter train service begin on portions of 2 lines; the O line(Ocean) from Dresden to Noriega and the ME line(Middle East) to Lindin City.

    The original Fastraxx System Map, circa 1969;

    These map(s) are to scale and the distances between stations are generally accurate. The dotted black line represents my region's current size and Pretoria's city limits, the metro area continues further beyond.

    The Ocean line was later extended and then split in two separate lines(NP & L). Three additional lines were opened over the following decades; A line in 1976, the SS line in 1979 and the C line in 1985. This increased  the number of stations from 13 to 33. Train frequencies were also increased from rush hour only on the original two lines to all day service on the L & NP lines.. However by the late 1990's the system was starting to encounter severe congestion problems and more trains could not be added until these issues were resolved.

    Fastraxx system map, circa 1999;

    In the early 2000's the system underwent its largest expansion to date the most important of which was the electrification project. Prior to electrification, trains were powered by diesel locomotives. In combination with the system wide electrification new equipment had to be purchased. Electric locomotives replaced the diesel units operating on the rush hour only lines(C, ME & SS) and EMU's(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_multiple_unit) were purchased for use on the all day service lines. The electric trainsets provide much better acceleration than the previous diesel trains which allowed for the addition of 13 new stations without increasing overall travel time and greatly improved train frequencies during rush hour. Station spacing was reduced from one station every 2.8 km to one every 2.1 km and the C line was added to the all-day service loop on the L & NP lines. Trains are typically 5 or 6 coaches long and have a seating capacity of between 400 to 480 people per train. When accounting for standees a rush hour trains typically holds as many as a 1000 people. Additionally these new trains were built to be operated by cab signalling and are PTC(Positive Train Control) compliant. This improved system reliability and most importantly safety. Trains would no longer be solely directed by line of sight way side and most signal masts were removed except for those at major junction or interlocking points, that is where trains can crossover tracks. Any train exceeding its operating limits will be stopped automatically by the PTC system. This also reduced crewing requirements from two per train to just one greatly reducing yearly operating costs.

    The automated Airport Express was also built during this time provided a direct connection from Pretoria International Airport to downtown Astoria. Astoria for the record is Pretoria's Manhattan. The Airport Express is serviced by automated 4-car EMU's running on an elevated viaduct until just before Pretoria Central where the line runs in an underground tunnel and station. Several extension projects were also initiated on the ME(2009) C(2014) and NP(2017) lines. Another important project was the separation of the ME & SS lines from the L line. Previously these line merged onto the same set of tracks which created congestion. A new set of tracks was built parallel to the L line extending all the way from Pretoria Central to Lindin City and the routing of the ME line was changed to accommodate this. Commuters wishing to stop at points in between Calgon & Pretoria Central from the ME & SS lines have to transfer over to the L line at Calgon station. In all the system is 100km long and which is almost entirely double tracked giving a total of 205 kms of mainline track and plus another 15 kms of yard tracks.

    Summary of the system upgrades post 2000
    Electrification of the entire Fastraxx network
    Project # Fastraxx Project no.1
    M Project date: 2002-2008
    Projected Costs: $1.65 Billion
    Contractor: multiple

    Order for new rail equipment - Electric Multiple Units
    Order date: 2003
    Delivery date: 2008-2010
    Total number of coaches: 178
    Cost per Unit: $7.8 million
    Projected Costs: $1.39 Billion
    Contractor: Prototype Equipment
    Order for new rail equipment - Electric Locomotives
    Order date: 2005
    Delivery date: 2007-2009
    Total number of engines: 30
    Cost per Unit: $16.5 million
    Projected Costs: $496 million
    Contractor: Electric Motors

    In-Cab Signal System installation
    Project # Fastraxx Project no.2
    M Project date: 2006-08
    Projected Costs: $305 million
    Contractor: Massive Electric
    Positive Train Control Instillation
    Project # Fastraxx Project no.4
    M Project date: 2008-12
    Projected Costs: $580 million
    Contractor: Automaton Solutions Inc.
    Airport Express Line
    Project # Fastraxx Project no.6
    M Project date: 2010-13
    Length of Line: 4.8 km
    Station platforms: 3
    Projected Costs: $825 million
    Contractor: Supreme Construction
    ME Line extension to Fairmount
    Project # Fastraxx Project no.3
    M Project date: 2007-08
    Length of Extension: 4.4 km
    Projected Costs: $83 million
    Contractor: RealRail corp.

    C Line extension to Eastlea
    Project # Fastraxx Project no.7
    M Project date: 2012-14
    Length of Extension: 2.3 km
    Projected Costs: $204 million
    Contractor: MCR Rail inc.
    NP Line extension to Aspen
    Project # Fastraxx Project no.8
    M Project date: 2013-17
    Length of Extension: 6.1 km
    Projected Costs: $397 million
    Contractor: RealRail corp.
    Seperation of the ME & SS from the L line
    Project # Fastraxx Project no.5
    M Project date: 2008-13
    Length of new corridor: 8.9 km
    Projected Costs: $1.08 Billion
    Contractor: multiple

    Total costs: $7.01 Billion

    The result of which is this;
    Fastraxx system map, 2016;

    The all-day service route actually functions as one large loop totaling 50.4 kms long. Trains starts off at either Halcyon on the NP line(green) or at Highland at the end of the short A line(cyan). After departing Halcyon the train(s) proceeds south to Pretoria Central. Next it transfers over to the Inner-Bay route of the L line(Red). From there it will loop around Cisco Bay(the waterbody not the city) and return to Pretoria Central via the Cross-Bay route. After which it will finally transfers onto the A line(Cyan) and continue onto Highland station. There it turns around and the entire process is reversed. So really the NP, L & A lines (green/red/cyan) operate as one big 28 station loop. 

    The Style of the system map is based off the same style as Ontario's GO Train system map: http://www.gotransit.com/timetables/en/schedules/maps.aspx#
    GO transit however also operates a regional bus network while Fastraxx does not. This is because the Pretoria Metropolitan Area is far denser than the Greater Toronto Area and the Fastraxx commuter system covers and goes through all urban areas. The subway system in Pretoria is also quite elaborate as is the local bus network, both of which are run by a separate agency called the Pretoria Transit Authority(PTA). The PTA will be covered in a future E2.

    As mentioned before, there is also a long distance train service operated by the federal government called Hallmark. The Hallmark service only operates on the NP, ME & SS lines, basically going to destinations beyond Pretoria further North, East & South. Additionally there are several different long distance bus routes but these are all run by private agencies and not the government.

    Synopsis of the Fastraxx system
    Number of lines - 7 (3 of which are shared with the Halmark inter-regional/long distance train service)
    Total number of stations - 44 + 2 under construction
    Total system length - 100 km
    Daily ridership(weekdays) - 140,800

    Comparison of ridership to real-world systems(North America);
    Profile of the Individual lines
    Comparisons between the individual lines;

    Ridership - daily weekday average

    Ridership, rush hour  - daily weekday average

    Track Lengths

    The ridership numbers are based off in game totals for the A & L lines. The other lines are estimates for now since I've yet to actually build them in game. The actual routes of the Airport Express, NP & C lines have yet to be finalized.

    Airport Express(purple):
    number of stations - 3
    total length - 4.8 km
    daily ridership - 7,260
    type of service - all day, two-way service 7 days a week

    NP - North Point line(green):
    number of stations - 12 (includes 2017 extension)
    total length - 16.4 km (includes 2017 extension)
    daily ridership - 20,900 during rush hours
    daily ridership - 32,510
    type of service - all day, two-way service 7 days a week

    C - Central line(orange):
    number of stations - 7
    total length - 10.1 km
    daily ridership - 6,350
    type of service - rush hour weekday service only

    A - Astoria line(cyan):
    number of stations - 4
    total length - 3.8 km
    daily ridership - 3,570 during rush hours (actual in game total - combined morning & evening station counts divided by 2)
    daily ridership - 10,330 including off-peak service
    type of service - all day, two-way service 7 days a week

    ME - Middle East line(Grey):
    number of stations - 9
    total length - 18.9 km
    daily ridership - 10,700 
    type of service - rush hour weekday service only
    This service skips 5 stations on the track shared with the L line


    L - Loop line(Red):
    number of stations - 18(2 served only during rush hour period)
    total length - 27.7 km
    daily ridership - 43,400 during rush hours (actual in game total - combined morning & evening station counts divided by 2)
    daily ridership - 65,250 including off-peak service
    type of service - all day, two-way service 7 days a week
    As you can see the path the L-line takes is actually a figure 8, rather then a simple loop.

    SS- South Shore line(Blue):
    number of stations - 7
    total length - 18.1 km
    daily ridership - 8,400
    type of service - rush hour weekday service only
    This service skips 4 stations on the track shared with the L line

    Fastraxx regional view;

    I will profile each corridor individually with in game pics and detailed official railway type track schematics in future entries. And that brings this entry to a close. I can't tell you exactly how long it took me to make this entry, but lets just say I've been working on this for a LONG time.


  6. Scrapped

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    Thanks for checking out my scrapbook project, "Myrrh". Myrrh leverages the Red Sea region, the CPT Italia mod, and the Brigantine water mod.

    I'll try to keep things short and sweet, but I will mention this journal's focus will be on rail-based mass transit, education, entertainment, and (hopefully) awesome farms. 

    And with that, here are some shots of the region before development:


    Thanks for checking out my journal. 

    Keep coming back!



    @dedgren: Thx. I dont have any yet. Im using a very basic laptop, just to internet and MS Office. Nothing heavy is demanding for now, and I dont pretend to get back to gaming at PC anytime soon.




    Before getting started, let me let you know that there have been rumors over the internet about a new sim game that received little attention lately. In these last days, it was leaked the text and the images of this new sim homepage (front page of its website):


    Create your own Cities!




    Create your own towns!




    Create your own ghost towns!




    Create your own old (or scary) touristic area!




    Create your own movie!




    Create your own beautiful nature scenery!




    Create your own beautiful shot with image editing!




    It’s up to you!


    (end of the page)


    It is a surprise, isn´t it? Or not?


    Would you buy it?


    I would. I actually did.


    Sadly, for those who got a bit excited, and for the confirmation of those who were somehow suspicious about it (those who wondered: “Too good to be true”, “What kind of computer would run something like that?”, “I already saw that somewhere”), that´s not a new game, and it is not a City Builder.


    It is DriveClub, a non-simulation racing game. It looks good, right? Yes, and it is not alone. There are several others games with nice looking graphics. And some of them have nice looking cities. Haven’t you already noticed that city building games are having trouble with that?



    A City on Gran Turismo 6


     Article 2 - About graphics


    City Building is a category of game that includes a massive quantity of details to be rendered, considered and done. The problem is not only get a big city rendered, but the fact that the city must be very customized (otherwise it wouldn’t be a city builder at all). And it just get worse when you need to process a huge amount of data to decide what is going to grow, where it is going to grow and why it is growing. The city changes all the time. It is “alive”.


     In some games, you walk through a scenario, or drive through it, but you always do that on a pre-made scenario, with no amount of data to be processed, equal for every user and usually it is not needed to detail every place on the city (unless you are on completely free-roam game, where you can walk or drive anywhere on the city you want). Even in the free roam case, the maximum speed of the user is usually not as high as the speed of movement of a camera of a City Builder.


    That it is the reason – or at least what I believe it is – for the fact that, when compared to games released on the same year or close years, city builders looks worse than them.


    But there is Sim City 4.


    If you compare Sim City 4 to others from its time, it is clear that SC4 look, at least a bit, ahead from them. But it is a City builder, shouldn´t look worse than the others from its time?


    Yes, it should. But SC4 got a trick: Camera restriction. What generated some complaints, the constrain of the camera to perspective view, allowing only moving horizontally and zooming, were undoubtedly the main factor for giving Sim City 4 an graphical advantage. If the camera were free, Sim City 4 would look far worse. Some BATters probably have a good explanation about why constraining the camera saved your money on not needing a Super Computer for the work and improved the appearance of everything on 2003 Sim City´s. Since I never got any serious BAT done, Im not an expert at this, so I cant get very far about this subject.


    There were some few discussions on a brazilian forum (used to be www.simcitybrasil.net, but now it´s gone) about how the Sim City released in 2013 looks when compared with Sim City 4. Maybe this subject come to discussion here too. Not all people were convinced that the new Sim City did look better in comparison of the old one. Indeed you were free to take your shots from almost anywhere you want, at any angle, and that’s a good evolution. But I believe it came for a price: In terms of graphic and appearance.


    Even if you say: “But, hey, I dislike the new Sim City”, it is very difficult to deny that the same phenomenon happens to the others. I believe that for that very reason SC4 is still alive and it is hardly and slowly being replaced. You can still get shots that looks fairly realistic from a game with 12 years old just because of the camera constrain (and, of course, a nicely done work from Maxis). Some of them look better than any other city builders competitors that try’s the very same angle of view. Following that, you got thousands of buildings, hundreds of mods, which fix some bad aspects of the game. It is difficult to “win” that, but someday, we will get something better. Some say we already did. But for now, we can look at other games, specially racing ones, to have an idea about what “graphical” future is coming for us.


    PS: The driveclub pictures were taken from:



    The picture from Gran Turismo 6 I took on my own.

  8. ggE3fbJ.png


    Well to those that celebrate it, Happy Thanksgiving (tomorrow). One place that won't get much sleep: the port of Capistrano. A barometer of economic activity in the growing city and these guys and gals will be running around the clock to serve the industries of Sim Nation. And YES, there is pollution man, cuz this is a gritty, dirty, bustling port! Hope you enjoy! Please comment and rate.

    Port of Capistrano:








    North and south jetty protecting the entrance to the port:




















    Panorama wide-shots:




    The port authority planted more trees, now they need to clean up the water pollution!






  9. Rickport

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    A couple of pictures of downtown, its part more representative. 



  10. WJTeGBC.jpg

    The Jade Bight 5:

    Thank you for paying another visit to the region of The Jade Bight.  I'm very happy to see that some of you are finding it of interest.  I am, however, a bit surprised to find there are not more visitors to the thread.  I have always believed (without any data to back it up) that there were multitudes of people all over the world visiting "Simtrop" on a daily or weekly basis.  Consequently, the Law Of Averages says there should be more people visiting my thread -- by design, or by accident.  But, I suppose, that is neither here nor there, as they say.  I am pleased that comments seem to be running to about 50% of the visitors.  Comments, critiques, AND advice are always welcome -- and always given due consideration.  I hope to hear more from all of you as you become comfortable with your visits to The Jade Bight.

    I would like to take a moment to thank all of the members that have, so far, helped me move forward in what is an ongoing, and will be, a very long journey.  My clueless questions litter this forum like "landmines of stupid" waiting to explode in a cloud of dumb!!  I played Sc4 for many months with absolutely no idea HOW the little buildings appeared on the map and even less knowledge of WHERE they came from.  Many of you have taken the time to explain things to me and your advice has been much appreciated.  But I would like to extend a "special" thanks to "MGB / rsc204".  He spent a great deal of time, out of the kindness of his of heart, teaching me the techniques of making a lot.  That sounds very simple, but if you explain it properly -- as he did -- you discover that all things in this game are intertwined.  And nothing is ever simple.  I will not belabor the point, for I think MGB is a modest fellow and would shun glowing praise.  But, if not for his tireless patience and efforts -- I would have no pictures worth showing you, and would not have enjoyed the many pleasurable hours his tutoring brought me.  Whatever skills you see in these pictures are entirely his doing.

    I was kind of laying about, toying with a few game ideas, considering improvements to cities currently building, and experimenting with some in-game tools I haven't used (in response to your advice and game tips).  Then I suddenly realized that Thanksgiving, here in the USA, is upon me.  I know many of you don't celebrate this Holiday -- but here in the US -- it's a major, major thing!  This is what we call a "family holiday" -- which means you gather with family and friends and enjoy the company of people you care about -- some of whom you don't get to see very often.  A young man or young lady often chooses this time to bring a "friend" home to meet Mom & Dad, or your wife or husband gets a bit "P**offed" because they have to spend the day with "the dreaded inlaws".  Either way -- I knew I was going to have to post this installment now -- or put it off for a week.  God help the man that tucks himself away in his den (or smoking room) during a family holiday.  Football is enough of an intrusion during the Holiday Season.  Sc4 would be the final straw!! (lol-lol)

    This installment will be a bit shorter than the last -- if for no other reason -- it's a "small map".  And -- as we progress through our tour of The Jade Bight, there will be fewer and fewer "revolutionary" ideas or combinations to show you.  But -- there will always be a more creative way to make a presentation.  I shall endeavour to keep you entertained.

    The real Harlesiel is a rather small town (about 800 people) founded in 1956 after the completion of a large land reclamation project.  It sits on the East Frisian Coast, nestled among the salt marshes and sand dunes at the mouth of the placid Harle River.  The town is something of a resort (on a small scale) with a swimming pool, golf course, several nice restaurants and Gasthouses, a small marina, and a comfortable hotel.  There is, of course, a town hall and a small cargo pier -- but the main feature is a Car Ferry running the Wangerooge Island route.

    I was visiting another CJ just the other day and "Dedgren" very gently pointed out to the author that his map was far too small for "the grand scheme of things".  The scale is always the probelm in Sc4.  After my mess on Wangerooge Island, I have tried very hard to achieve my goals for a map while keeping an eye on "the scale of things".  I fear that my search for the new and unusual still gets in the way.  The size of the map, the configuration of the land mass, and the lot placement is a constant battle for space and scale.  

    Schillig Roads was an improvement, but I handled the residential areas somewhat poorly, mainly because nothing grows very well in your first major city in a new region.  In a "virgin" region, residential growth can only be accomplished by suburban sprawl -- it's eats up lots of map but there is little development.  I may well come back to Schillig Roads in future and indulge in some massive suburban renewal efforts.

    In keeping with my policy, Harlesiel will provide a power source and trash removal service for its' neighbor to the south -- Wittmund (currently well-advanced).  I've used a Google map for some basic ideas about the town and know it must contain trash docks, a power plant, a small marina, a car ferry, and a small cargo pier.  So that is what I must cram into a small map and try my best to make it look good!   





    At first glance, the map is a bit better proportioned than Wangerooge, but still a tad crowded.  The breakwaters on the western side of the peninsula are a bit contrived, and I would rather have done without them, but the prevailing current along the Frisian Coast is from the west -- so they were necessary.


    This time I selected a smaller power plant more in keeping with the surroundings -- the Muleberg Nuclear Power Facility.  SFBT's lot is comparatively small, compact, and they've done a good job of detailing with fences and parking.  The only thing I added was the gate and the guard's parking lot.  If you have been following along, you already know where the two lots came from.  I'm going to do a lot less explaining in this installment -- simply by not repeating what was mentioned in a previous posting.  If you still have questions -- post a comment and I will do my best to answer.


    Here you have the inevitable PEG trash docks in an out-of-the-way corner, with a PEG "ploppable" scow anchored alongside the breakwater waiting it's turn.

    "Nob" CARGO PIER:


    Here we have two views of the cargo handling facility for Harlesiel.  The "Nob" pier lots are ideal for these small harbors -- kind of "grungey" and run-down.  I've placed a small "token" rail yard in the interests of realism, but resisted getting carried away with it.


    The cargo handling area to the left of the pier was deliberately built out on extended land and contained by ripp-rapp seawalls to give the impression that it had been recently built to up-grade the facilities.  This is a smaller configuration of my "Modular Cargo Set" of custom lots.  I designed the set so that it could be layed-out in any shape, and could be made as small or as large as needed.  Ahhh -- the joys of what you can do with EDITOR and the "prop locker".


    The bridge was chosen for it's antique look -- something you might find out on the wilds of a coastal plain.  It is too high, and the approaches are a bit cramped -- but, as you see -- I had to leave room for pleasure craft bound upriver for Wittmund.  Note the "plop" boats anchored near the bank.



    This was my first attempt at creating shallow areas with small islands, trees, and rocks.  In all my time playing Sc4, I had never even tried to make a small island.  The "Brigatine" water Mod was a true revelation.  (MGB's suggestion!)  I found the transparent effects of the beaches fascinating.  After much practice, I discovered that using "sea level mode", I could move offshore and create a terraced effect to the sea floor -- kind of like steps leading down to the bottom.  Further use of the Mayor Mode "smoothing" tool, produced a "shelving sea floor" with no sharp edges and a pleasing, realistic look.  From there -- it naturally followed that I would have to attempt to make shallow areas like those found all along the Frisian Coast.  I have, more or less, managed to make shallows with islands dotted about -- but have yet to attempt a salt marsh or a mud flat (most common to the Frisians).  For those of you interested, the rocks and gravel are NBVC MMP's and the Ashe trees, cattails, and bushes are from Girafe's MMP packs.  Very usefull -- I hope you will try them out.


    Here you have the small shipping basin of the Harle River -- the chief reason for the existence of Harlesiel.  It is the life-blood of the small community.  The ferry is a vital communication link, while the marina provides a quiet little berth for those seeking a hideaway, or a safe harbor from the notorious North Sea gales.



    This is the yacht basin -- where the seafaring types hang out.  Some of them have found a quiet little place to tie up and live out their private lives on their boats in a friendly little village.  Others are true "old salts" who spend their time hauling small cargoes or people from port to port, while others are obsessed by the "Riddle Of The Sands" of the North Sea.  They live out their lives on the waves and the tides, only touching port for provisions and repairs.  But all of them come here for safety -- or to some other small port -- for no man is an island.

    The lots started life as a "Mediterranean Marina" in Benoit's "Saint Tropez" series around 2009.  But, for some reason, he never finished nor released the lots and simply put them up for download -- as is -- over on SC4DEV.  I've always loved the PEG yachts and cabin cruisers -- the modeling work is stupendous -- but they have never been released outside their "waterfront" concepts. The other boats, by Calligrafix, are equally good -- but -- they, too, have not been seen very much.  In my obsession with these boats -- I took them and re-lotted them into what I call "The Nordswee Modular Marina Set".  It will no longer be a Mediterranean Theme, nor will it have all the trappings of the "Riviera-style" buildings (In fact, there are no buildings!).  But it is designed to fit into almost any decor you choose, and will come in a variety of lot sizes so that you can arrange them any way you see fit -- into a small, or a large marina. (You will see other examples of this size and shape flexibility as we tour The Jade Bight.)  A very generous member has kindly offered to help me get them ready for "release".  I can make a pretty good lot -- but I have no concept how they should be prepared for release so that they will be easy and trouble-free for the members.  We hope to release them soon.



    Two views of "Somy's" most excellent car ferry terminal and car ferry boat lots.  "The Angela Pleasant" is taking on a full load of cars and passengers bound for tiny Wangerooge Island.  Somy's stuff is truly amazing -- his skills flawless -- his realism awesome (dare I use an over-worked word).  I cannot say more.

    Note the use of my custom-lotted lighthouse -- fits into almost any place with ease.


    Here you see the entrance to the harbor basin.  Unfortunately, most of the harbor mouths found along the Frisian Coast are either angled, or have beautiful sweeping curves built into their breakwaters.  Sc4 does not make it easy to model something to replicate those angles and curves, so we must make do.  Since the North Sea is shallow, and very tidal -- the harbors are threatened by silt build-up.  Consequently, the breakwaters were built to prevent silt from closing off the harbors, or even moving their channels (obvious hazards to navigation).  The twin piers / breakwaters on either side of the entrance provide for a channel that may be easily dredged to the desired depth and kept that way with little maintenance.  Some of these channels extend for miles offshore because when the tide goes out, there is nothing but mud left outside the channels.  Many of the small ports have outer and inner harbors.  The inner harbors are usually a tidal basin -- closed off by locks so they will not be left high and dry.  I have yet to find any way to make a realistic looking transition between the sea and a harbor lock (but I'm working on it).

    WELL  --  I said I was going to keep this one brief and to the point.  
    I hope you have enjoyed the pictures and even the boring commentary! (lol)  

    PLEASE -- favor me with a comment, some advice, or perhaps even a suggestion for how to throw together a tidal harbor -- with a lock!

    The Jade Bight 6:

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    Recent Entries

    So this is kind of a work in progress but I would like some suggestions on my building style.

    Two Amtrak Trains heading towards downtown Raleigh


    A Navy Ship Docked in Manteo


    A Krispy Kreme the most popular doughnut shop


    A rural town in the east


    Farms in the coastal plain


    A shopping center north of Raleigh


    A Resdential area north of Raleigh

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    Recent Entries

    Just playing around really.


    Still unsure if trams look better with unsuitable overhead cable or without


    Looking from a rail station.


    and now for my actual framerate!


  11. Latest Entry



    Okay so this is the last in my series of canals for now.

    Looking forward to showing you some newer stuff very soon, but for the time being lets have a look at Hao Datong, The Perfected Master of Infinite Peace.

    Here the canal splits and narrows down to a southern passage that allows small boats to travel to the northern exit point in Acropolis (to be shown soon).

    In the middle is a beautiful Thai Style Buddhist temple that casts an aura of serenity around the whole area.

    Once again, towering residential complexes overlook the landmark from almost every angle.

    In this Zone we can also see things taper off into low-density residential areas which lead into Sarai (entry currently defunct) directly above.








    Comments, suggestions, and questions are always appreciated. Thanks for visiting.

    Currently having some problems with older entries. I'll try to fix them when I have a chance.


    gviper: Fantastically splendid. As is a hallmark for most of your work the waterfronts are masterpieces. I would love a little more green space personally but otherwise I love it!

    Yeah, in area this small it's hard to fit in green spaces since I want everything to be so dense, but hopefully soon I'll get around to show you some of the parks I've been working on. Thanks.


    raynev1: Another superb entry , it's like East meets West and swirled together. To make a harmonious combination that truly works can be quite difficult . But you definitely pulled it off , a job well done . 

    Thanks raynev1. Really appreciate your continued support.


    tariely: It's pleasantly weird, that leaning tower ! Out of the box... The mosaics are superb again. I too use a combination of grown and plopped when I do a big city. Sometimes chance gives felicitous  arrangements of buildings but playing god is nice too:-)

    Bonjour triely. Yeah, it's fun when a building you didn't expect, or kinda forgot you had, pops up. Thanks.


    michae95l: Lovin' the tower! As usual, excellent work. :)

    Thanks michae95l.


    Schulmanator: Looks awesome! I am booking a trip here pronto!!!

    As usual you can pick up your VIP package at the airport when you arrive. We'll have a driver ready to bring you to your hotel. Thanks.


    Sexysark:P: It looks awesome the way you managed to mix different forms of architectural style overall presents a unique style which only you can do :D keep up the good work !!

    Guess I kind of have my own style now. Ionican style. Thanks Sark, good to see you.


    jmsepe: Admirable work as usual. The colors do well with the image. 

    Thanks j.


    spiritualfire: I thoroughly enjoyed the detail you put into this city in each picture here. Two questions: Which canal wall mod did you use? The red brick boardwalks and stone walls really help the character and I would like to try it. Second question: the ramp on the corner of the St George's Bank in the last picture, where is that found on the STEX? I am in dire need of that ramp.

    I'm using the Goober Canals, the link is to the base set, add-ons can also be found on the SC4D LEX. You can find the ramp here. And here is a download link for the Red Brick retaining walls: RedBrickPlaza.zip



    John2098: You should totally put some of those buildings on the ST Exchange

    None of those buildings were made by me and the vast majority of them are indeed on the STEX. Feel free to ask me or go to the Can't Find It thread. Thanks.


  12. I welcome all of you in the capital of my republic. As I also promised, this time you will see continuation of the city. Nord Fill it is the second district of the city which adjoins directly to historic center of the city. The area surrounds Inner City from all directions, as if surrounding historical part of the city.Nord Fill and Inner City are divided by a boulevard ring on which the tram goes. Here too there are a lot of sights and important city facilities. For example, consulates of many countries, shopping and entertainment centers, clubs, discos and luxurious hotels with restaurants settle down here. Here too the fashion square, the area of luxury boutiques of clothes, accessories and footwear settles down. The most large market and very first, appeared in the city, too is here... And the most important what exactly in this area settles down the residence of the president of the republic.

    Lonbslay quarter.Today you will see only small part of a boulevard ring. Later you will see all beauty of the boulevard. History of its emergence, you learn next time.

    At the left in the photo Nord Fill , and on the right Inner City.




    The building was built in 1931 and till 1965 in it there was a temporary Ministry of Culture. In 1965 the palace is the museum of culture and world heritage. The big area, with an artificial reservoir adjoins to the building. The area divides Stormont Palace also an entrance to a royal garden of the presidential palace. Here it is always populous, even at night.



    The name speaks for itself. The street was called so in 1930 because then on this street the main consulates of 10 countries entering the USNW settled down. Namely:Galicja,Mikenstein,Republika Lodomerii,Ionica,Republika Słowiańska,Illyrian Empire ,Journey Through Paengia,Asgard,Ring of Fire and Schullmania Till today, for more than 70 years, all 10 consulates exist together on these old times to the street. Also here the metro station of the fourth line of the same name settles down. The street is near of Revent square



    The most large and oldest market in the city or as citizens "the Glory Lock" because the market in the former walls of the lock settles down call it, is more right that from it remained. The market exists since 1926 and till today. Surrounded with terrible towers and stone walls, it contained in itself(himself) numerous ancient buildings in which little shops, jeweler and souvenir shops, cafe, cozy small restaurants with kitchens of the different people, with small hotels and other institutions settled down. This one of the most favourite places of tourists and citizens. This ideal vacation spot, walks on different interesting little shops, entertainments. There is an ancient tower with hours, 30 meters high. It was constructed in 1926, the English architect. Each hour, hands 
    60 times ring, notifying inhabitants. It is the small city in the big city. The market is surrounded by a wide pedestrian Barynge street.







    St.George church the oldest church not only in the city, but also in the country. It was constructed in 1902, at the emperor. I suffered during bombings in 1942, but it was completely restored and restored in 1958.



    Boldwyne square.The area adjoins to a main entrance of the market. Opposite to the area there is a final bus-stop of routes:A23,A25,B35,B36,B40,B65,C12,C17




  13. Ben's Top Ten

    I apologize for the long absence from BTT, bear with me while I play catch up. The CJ section is the busiest and therefore hardest BTT to get caught up with, so it may take some time to get there.

    Now, step in the time machine back to July...

    Well done to Skylines of Cathnoquey which is still at number one.

    Mass Effect: Galactic Codex debuts, P.R. Crastina's Travels is new, and Federal Republic of Siculia and The Viceroyalty of Perseus are back.


    Ben's +10

    Mikenstein by michael95l
    State of Chumash by Namiko
    Dublin by crushproof
    Pretoria Metropolitan Area by takemethere
    My Skylines Sketchbook  by mb1.0.2
    Evean Vansop by Schulmanator
    Vista Del Mar by gviper
    The Socialist Island of Nomico by 89James89
    Teddy City by Titanicbuff
    The Island Nation of Sinatora by 89James89

  14. Hello and welcome back to Cities of Boomooderie!
    Today, we have the scenic and high wealth city of Asherton, with a special guest, the mayor! Questions shall be answered! Now, introduce yourself!
    Amelia: Hello.


    So, Amelia, what is your reaction to people saying you are an "Elitist"  for the rich?


    They don't know what they're talking about, I'm a nice woman (as many have told me) in real life. They should point fingers at Jerseyville, or whatever that corrupt wasteland calls itself.


    You don't seem fond about that city, what's the deal with them?


    Other than the fact they've tried to buy other cities and have no real mayor. They're run by big businesses.


    Moving on, what is your favorite place in the city?
    gQmCBU2.jpg <<<< Birch Park

    Easily the birch park, such a serene and calm place. Especially looking over the trees at the outpost.

    u2KH8Ul.jpg<<< Camera out of focus! Sorry!

    What's your least favorite place or places in Asherton?


    Easily the Tweedle Islands, my father made the mistake of selling them to... Ugh, Jerseyville... And they ruined the islands, I have no clue why I can't demolish them now, Boomooderie's president isn't letting me.


    Why do you think he is doing this?

    Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I think Jerseyville owns Boomooderie, Telegraph isn't the capital, Jerseyville is, I can't release this information to the public because I might be assassinated...


    This isn't live, right?


    It is, we-







  15. JJpR7kY.png

    I don't plan on coming back with a bang, but this preview should be enough for one.

    So where I have been... I got a job at an art store, enrolled in the Faculty of Architecture and got myself a lot of new items. I also moved on with my old region and had decided to create a new region for the Capital of Okaiken, now renamed Akasaki. This is where I continue wit mhy story. A new attitude will be undertaken from the lessons I learned from the University.

    Welcome to the 4th Edition of Okaiken. 

    This is a preview, not an actual update. No replies will be given






  16. jlVkReF.png


    Teddy City wishes to express its deepest sympathies to the people of Paris


    May Paris heal quickly, May the French united, may the world stand by France in there time of need.


    United SimNations: United with France



    The Royal Palace shows the colors of France in respect and honor of the lost.


    Parliament in mourning. Together they stand with the French


    Vive La France!!!





  17.                                       jlVkReF.png
    This update is dedicated in memory of those lost in Paris- It is with a heavy heart that this update is done.

    United Sim Nations Presents: Ocean Valley-Pretty Place.

    In the wake of the tragedy in Paris Ocean Valley has shown its support-
    City hall featuring a banner in the colors of the French flag. Built in 1607, Ocean Valley was originally a a mansion for the home of Lord George Hurtmare. Upon his death he donated his home to the city, for there use. They chose to use it as city hall.

    A French Flag adorns a french inspired pillar in the City Hall Round About- the round about is just a couple blocks from City Hall. Inspired by Louis XVI, this noble pillar is a showcase of this remarkable city. Designed by Jean Michel- a Paris born architect, he was commissioned in 1945 to design a World War 2 memorial- this was his design. The plaque thats covered by the flag reads:
                                                               TO  THE ROYAL MILITARY
                                                                             LOST IN
                                                              WORLD WAR II 1939-1945
    Somehow the pillar seems fitting  as another memorial.

    Enough Gloom and Doom- here we show the Stadium Spdi. Always busy, the SPDI is a remarkable exit to the stadium. A Stoplight sits in the center. It was added in 2011 after an accident killed a baseball player as he tried to get through the interchange to head home. It simply added a reminder that the interchange is overly busy after games, and needed to be reworked.

    Fun in the Sun? Try an amusement park. The city has many attractions for it. This is one of them. This attraction is a major magnet for tourists- Prices are fairly cheap, but the fun of the place is top notch. Featuring an observatory, playground, a couple roller coasters and a Farris wheel, this attraction is a wonderful place to visit.


    Hope you enjoyed this latest update. See you again soon.

  18. republique-francaise.png


    Schulmania offers a tribute to the people of Paris. May peace and healing reach every broken heart.























  19. Sampson Woods Forest !

    This month CJ we stay in the area of the community of Sampson. We have a look at the Sampson Woods Forest. This is one of the provincial parks, protected area for nature and wildlife. Here a map overview !


    Highway 4 borders the area !


    Let´s have a look at the area !


    Lot´s of deer around !


    Recreation at some of the lakes !


    Southern side designated some agricultural activities !


    Some small communities !



    Road site R Dinner !


    Sampson Woods main town, squeezed into the forest !


    Healthy, fresh air, spa and relaxation improve life for the better !


    Long or short stay everything posible for a nice vacation or two !

    Mayon Province development is again getting into a stage of under development. Progres will continue. CJ will continue some way. Mean while the desire arised to do something with european bat´s. This CJ series will be about several european cities, several era´s and there settings ! Technical setting up the simulation bat´s is at about a reasonable level, progress will be at random how much have been build ! This new CJ serie will be called Europe ANNO !

    Hope you enjoyed this CJ and see you back the next time !



  20. Now that I have started to build up the shoreline and how my city may be shaped, I need to start thinking about moving more Sims in and build more jobs into the area. So I have switched tactics to build industrial jobs into the area, and I've extended the size of the agricultural zones toward the center of the city. I have zoned an area so that some dirty industrial jobs may be created. In this picture, it's just before 8 o'clock while construction is just being finished in the new industrial park.


    Now that I have built a path for my citizen's to travel between their work and their homes, I have found that the traffic congestion has increased dangerously. About sixty cars pass on the road according to the data view. Soon I will need to start thinking about upgrading the street.


    Construction is finishing up on the newly founded Beach Street and Spring Street. Because of the new industry that has been zoned, new sims are flocking to grab the jobs while they can. Now that I am passing a new threshold, I will also need to start thinking about safety. I wouldn't be surprised if I start seeing red.56331c07b26d8_Schieffelin-Sep._28_011446

    I have upgraded the street to a road and built a business area for retail shops near the intersection to see if customer traffic makes up for the 90 cars that pass through the road at any given time. I also have seen a cliff appear in the upper left hand corner of this picture after paving the new road. I wish to see that cliff disappear over time.


    End of Year 01



    Residential Population


    Commercial Jobs


    Industrial Jobs



    Volume 1, Issue 4