New Project and Journal established March 31, 2011
Currently a senior at Portland State University I will graduate this spring with a bachelors in Community Development. I hope to enter a masters program and start a career in Urban Planning. Cities have been my hobby for the majority of my life. I was the kid in the corner drawing maps in elementary school. About the same time I started playing the original Sim City with my step-father. He wen't on to become a respected city manager around the state of Oregon. I progressed my gameplay over the years from Sim City 2000, SC3k to SC4. I hope to turn my hobby into a sucessful career.
At the time of SC4's release I was a senior in high school. I created cities of fantasy countless times of all shapes and sizes. I was blown away when I started playing SC4, because you could build on real city terrains and create regions. Becoming board with Sim City as a “game” I started experimenting with realistic cities. It wasn't long before I decided to recreate America's greatest region, Greater New York. During my first attempt in late 2006, I was very much a rookie. After a year of progress the region crashed, unable to open Lower Manhattan, I was devastated.
1st Attempt: Greater New York (FAILED)
Skill Level: Rookie, Not very realistic
There is a lot of excitement and optimism when it comes to a fresh start in SC4. I went to buy a new game, the Deluxe Edition (The girl behind the counter charges me $1.75 and becomes my girlfriend to this day). My “siming” skills were much more developed by this attempt and my interest in urban affairs had stated to become the focus of my college experience. Fall of 2008 my new girlfriend and I made are first trip to New York City. Falling in love (with NYC) on arrival we had the experience of a lifetime. I couldn't wait to return to Oregon and recreate the city better then ever. I started collecting books, maps and anything New York to expand on my hobby of cities. The new project was going great.
The New York project was put on the shelf after we made trips to Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu and Miami for the first time. My interest was cities, not just one. I had to work on each city respectively upon my return to Portland. I started to read more books about history of cities and community development. I started to fell the urge to work on New York again. Then early in 2010 my computer crashed. It was an HP from 2002, so it was about do time (I fixed it and still use it). I lost the second attempt of Greater New York during the great crash of 2010.
2nd Attempt: Greater New York (FAILED)
Skill Level: Junior Llama, Better Skills with more realism
All this time my “siming” skills had improved. My interests had been molded into realism. I was heavy into the school of Urban and Public Affairs and was spending a lot of my time studying cities, history and urban issues. I bought a brand new computer and picked up the Sim City Box last year. I have collected a lot of material on the New York region and have a pretty good understanding of the history and development of the city. I want to create Greater New York as realistic as possible, but SC4 has limitations to what “simers” of my style can do. I was very disappointed by the releases of Sim City 4 and Cities XL. I want realism and actual cities of the World to build. I hope some day to have a game not to different from SC4, but with slight adjustments to create more realistic cities.
Desired Game Features:
- Similar to Google Earth, have an opening view of the globe. Be able to pick a real country and zoom into it.
- Have some real city terrains available to recreate or build. Just the major cities, and download availablity for other cities, including fantasy.
- Be able to zoom into the specific city region and have more connectivity between areas of the region. More realistic regional play, to make it seem like one major metro.
- Start the game play in historic time (dirt paths and roads, sail ship piers, and old economies and housing). No city of my interest started in 2000 with the characteristics of SC4 cities. If it is New York let it start in 1600's or 1776. If if is Mesopotamia let it be 2,000BC. with irrigation canals, mud huts and reticulating splines.
- Last but not least, the biggest issue I have, especially when I try to build Downtown Portland with a angled grid. You all know what I'm talking about, the main reason I can't build the city exactly how it is in the Randy McNally. Streets and building need more freedom to be layed out realisticly. These are the only limitations I feel strongly prohibit me from creating the region I wish I could.
This last week I have been working on the third attempt of recreating the Greater New York region. I want to build it to scale, historically correct starting from New Amsterdam forward. Because of the limitations I've also considered building it city by city just getting the region caught up to 2011. Still not sure how realistic I’m going to build it, I've decided to create the City Journal to keep me motivated and hear feedback. Right now the region isn't historically accurate being all development is in Lower Manhattan, with no townships in Flushing, Flatbrush, Brooklyn, Newark, etc... I haven't developed up island farms, Govt. Island, Broadway or Bowery Streets. The population is at 65,000, which would make it just about 1800 and I have highways. To make it realistic I will develop all the surrounding areas to the point of 1800 and get ready to layout the grip plan of 1811.
I hope to hear input, while I decide to develop historically, or go urban growth crazy and create the Megacity. I've also had a little trouble getting back all the old NYC plugins that I once had (might notice, I don't have Trinity Church, the staple of Lower Manhattan during this era). I'm going to make a donation for that particular building at NYC Sim City and keep checking the NYBT until I get all the buildings I once had. Lower Manhattan's street layout is hard to replicate with SC4's limitations.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read through the introduction to my City Journal. To keep your interest I will try and update the journal frequently, and have timely replys to posts. I have played this game for along time, but don't have the talent I've seen other "simers" have. I appreciate comments and suggestions of any kind. If you have a NYC project post a link so I can see your work.
Thank You Once Again