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About this City Journal

real pictures of places that don't exist

Entries in this City Journal

MissVanleider

Hi there!

It has been a long time since my last post. Events in real life, the state of the world and of the political situation developing in my own country and elsewhere have made games seem a little pointless to me. I have been checking in to the site quite frequently and although I post rarely, i really value the community here, so I would like to dedicate this post to all of you reading (and those not reading). However, I do want to give a couple of special shoutouts for people who have really helped inspire / create some superb content to this wonderful game: RSC/MGB204. All the texture unification work is incredible, but what really counts are the really detailed replies to my (and many other people's) questions in all the forums, I could not have got all these Japanese overpasses and whatnot working without your wonderful tutorial on installing them. LnX - just for mindboggleingly consistent uploads that I try to copy (badly - please see images below). Finally Fasan, who may be gone, but the pictures that remain on SC4D are for my personal preferences, the best pictures ever created using the medium of Simcity 4.

Enough about me, here are some pictures:

 

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This is an overview of the city on the shores of Lake Pointless. Last Entry covered the suburban area to the right of this image and the fields beyond. This time we are looking at the northern end of the lake and the town around it in more detail.

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Ok, it's a highway interchange, but it was a slightly unusual one, so here is a picture

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Simcity 4 doesn't have many aggressive youths, but those that have a bit too much aggression can run like crazy on these football pitches, which should keep them out of mischief. There is some need for a fence to stop the ball going into the busy road, but times are tight!

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First 'flipped' image. I really like the totally different feel you get from doing this to a picture.

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A railway, some retaining walls

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overview of the area

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more flipping. Here in the suburbs the other side of the highway.

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suburbs giving way to industry

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crossing the bridge now onto the other bank of the river

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I wanted to try something a bit clever, and i'm not sure it has been wholly successful, but here is a combination of game water and MMP water, and lots of retaining walls. I guess the MMP side will improve with practice.

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A jumbled little neighbourhood of mainly working class homes.

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railway crossing. I really enjoythe reskinned japanese overpasses. This is not the most spectacular use of them!

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A local school surrounded by suburbia. Looks washed out because i forgot to change the contrast :D

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Old mills on the edge of town by the lake shore

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Now we get into the proper city centre. Trying to keep the shapes interesting!

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I know there is quite a mix of building styles but diagonals are really hard to find!

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close to the station are some very grand buildings

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wider overview of the city centre

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The Cricket ground (Americans and other Europeans, if you don't know what this is ask an Indian/Pakistani/Sri Lankan//English/Australian etc.) the library, the station and then the waterfront in mosaic.

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Different perspective. I love the distinctive library BAT in the middle.

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Now back across the river to finish off the rest of the city centre. I dont know why I couldn't make the water look nice here with MMPs, but once I had built everything was too scared to take serious remedial action in order to spruce up the water!

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closeup of the same area.

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why not stop for a coffee (or Tea if that way inclined) in the waterfront coffee shop.

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More quayside

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Finally my favourite of the lot, horizontally flipped mosaic of  the small station down to the quayside, taking in some parkland and diagonals en-route.

Hope you enjoyed :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MissVanleider

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An overview of this part of the shores of Lake Pointless. These are fringe suburbs of this small city of 60,000 people. The lake is called Lake Pointless because rivers seem to flow in and out of it in a way that suggests it is basically a strange inlet of the sea, but we try not to focus on the natural history and geology, as most of what follows in these is similarly unrealistic in that sense. :)

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Farmland on the fringe of the town, trying to achieve a natural feel is sometimes quite hard with the scales involved in Simcity 4.

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Well that's all for this entry, I hope you enjoyed! Just time to thank all the people that made content for the game, those in the community that inspire through amazing pictures and CJ's, and those who have offered advice and help to me when I've asked. I owe you all a big hug :)

More pictures of this tile to come soonish I hope, and as always I welcome your comments, feedback and improvements

MissVanleider

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A couple of pictures - (a 'teaser' - as if you're all out there on the edge of your seats, perched patiently waiting for my next entry) - from my (fingers crossed) prop pox free region. Still a work in progress, the first tile in the region is being developed slowly, hopefully with a more consistent feel than some of my previous entries. I was going for UK suburban / european urban feel, right now it seems to be just as much American gothic.

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I have tried to improve some MMPing in this region. I don't think its total success yet but doing some is better than not doing any I suppose!

Not really much more to show at the moment, just trying to create something completely from scratch, - in a not (totally) cheaty way - has meant some slow progress. Hope you enjoyed and hopefully more soonish :)

 

also - maxis freight train. someone linking me an excellent replacement automata would be super appreciated! 

MissVanleider

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Here are some final shots of the city with no name. This tile is the final one I had planned to develop as part of the conurbation. Unfortunately an outbreak of prop-pox means that it will remain forever unfinished. Below are a few shots of the city that I managed to take before giving up on it. One or two nice shots, but always sad to say goodbye :)

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No stories this time, but I hope you enjoyed the pictures. I will eventually start a new region and make some more pictures for you, until then thanks for reading and commenting.

 

 

MissVanleider

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Some pictures I should have retaken and uploaded before and some new pictures. These are all from the same tile as the last update which is now pretty much finished. The city still doesn't have a name, but retains a strange selection of buildings and plenty of parking.

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The rowhouses; which I really like, do stand out a bit in this (mostly) European environment. But I like them, so that's all that counts.

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More at home are the posh terraced houses. These are high-wealth in SC4, but the game doesn't have a wealth category to classify how expensive these are in West London.

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Some terracing. Sometimes I think I like retaining walls nearly as much as I like buildings...

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A little further up we see a combination of new and old. The older buildings in the city have been preserved for their historical fame or notoriety. I'm not allowed to tell you what the building in the middle is preserved for without putting an age-rating on the entry.

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more low/medium rise buildings. I think this is my favourite 'scale' of architecture, skyscrapers can much more easily seem oppressive.

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The 'something borrowed' from the title is in this image. The highway interchange I copied from a city journal by Ln X. Mine looks nice, but doesn't seem to work in every direction unlike his much better version. Mine looks nice.

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I can't decide if I want the staining on this building to be new and made that fancy oxidised-steel I saw on grand designs this week, or if I just want it to be an older building stained from all the fumes from the highway. The second seems more realistic until you realise that nobody drives on this bit of highway for some reason. for reasons that are obvious.

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Some pictures with trains in them :)

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Skyscraper fans, I promise you'll see something taller eventually...

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Even if buildings look ridiculous together, sometimes they are too pretty not to include. plus my sims all speak several languages, so it doesn't seem as weird to them.

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Yes! more retaining walls :) I also really like that maxis statue lot for some reason.. The large apartment complex oriented at 45 degrees is one I really like, so it's repeated a few times (because I can't bring myself to demolish it). It came from a Japanese site and I think it's called 'Condominium03' although the english query in game is blank so I'm not totally sure on that.

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bit of an overview of the area.

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I'm honestly not sure what sport they are supposed to play here! Lets say cricket, because it rains a lot and the roof makes cricket possible...

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The station, and some(thing) blue buildings. One of them has a road through the middle of it.

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Between the station, the sports stadium and close to the airport are a few hotels, both modern and traditional and the opera house, which used to be bugged but apparently isn't now.

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Another glimpse of a high building or two. The homes behind that are probably owned by people too rich and influential to be cleared for something higher-density. The number given for residents by the in-game query tool on these buildings presumably includes Downton-abbey style 'downstairs' people.

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Yay! - tall buildings! The 'gherkin' is surely the best building in London in the last 20 years, and in real life they do their best to hide it behind a curtain of much worse buildings, so I've done the same :)

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an overview of this part of the city

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Finally, a big overview. Hope you enjoyed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MissVanleider

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The next tile along in the city with no name has more grand old buildings. I like packing the w2w buildings in really tightly. This update was supposed to have a few more pictures, until I realised they were all hideously affected by a nasty yellow border. Will try to retake some of them next time I get a few moments....

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Keeping the older buildings looking nice and ready for whatever century this is supposed to be is obviously a challenge. Here we can see the contractors are obviously taking another tea break hard at work.

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Le Corbusier didn't exist in this reality. Fans of brutalist architecture will be pleased to know that these towers in the park still do. I like the brown brutalist buildings much more than the colder looking grey buildings, which haven't aged so gracefully.

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most of the buildings are European themed, with a bit of a mish-mash of German, Polish, Dutch and English styles. There are also some Japanese and American lots in the picture. There is also adequate parking.

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Everyone loves shopping. Especially when you can stay across the road in this hotel, another fine example of modernist architecture which has aged well. Also, I really really like the avenue parking lots in the centre of the avenue, but it does rather look like an accident waiting to happen.

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Hope you enjoyed!

 

 

 

 

MissVanleider

Belated replies:

@michae95l

thanks very much, it did continue... eventually. :party:

@Benedit

Thanks for recognising that they were jokes, i was a little worried people might just think i had a loose grip on reality!

@Abrams124

Thankyou, i have managed a little more work as you shall see...

@Schulmanator

very much appreciated. :)

@Sexysark:P

Thanks, i like making the city look nice and getting a consistent feel

@Mymyjp

Thank you. Now massive pressure to make the next update fun...!

@Tonraq

Thanks!

@SylvioJ

Thanks. I very much enjoy the sandstone and there are quite a lot of content which takes advantage of it.


This update will focus on one tile of the Southern suburbs of the city with no name, which isn't finished yet. (Catchy name). The suburban sprawl continues to a couple of connecting tiles, but this one is the most 'finished' the buildings are grown wherever possible, lots of bulldozing and making historical and then some plopping of buildings which fit in but are either a) not growable - such as the diagonals, or b) growable in theory but a victim of mathematics.

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An overview of this part of the city.

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Suburbia, including a parade of shops that in the real world would be guarded by gangs of agressive youths with nothing better to do. Here there is a baker, a beauty salon, a newsagents and a hairdressers. A little further up the road is the local medical clinic.

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More suburbs. Despite the traffic noise and the graveyard opposite, these suburban houses are extremely expensive due to the proximity to the local centre.

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And some more...

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And a slightly zoomed-out view. Lots of green space. The highway isn't very busy here because in some directions there is no neighbour connection RHW-tile. The sims tell stories of a bermuda-triangle like effect where cars just vanish into nothingness. They are smart enough now to avoid risking driving upon these stretches.

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In the real world, this interchange would be pretty dangerous. In Sim City 4, its just pretty. The stadium car park is half-full, but the terraces are bare. This is because the home team are poor, but the catering is excellent.

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low-rise apartment buildings, suburban houses and scattered historical buildings give way to a 'hi-tech' warehouse for a company which still exists in this reality.

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The centre of town, mid-rise buildings predominate. The area has several hotels, including a couple of my favourite BATs.

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Hotel Christine is one of the older hotels and is famous for it's reasonable prices and flirtacious bar-staff.

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A small mosaic of the centre. making the horrid grass around the maxis city hall blend in is difficult!

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second mosaic of the centre. The small brown commercial buildings are repeated everywhere despite my regular bulldozing. It's a nice neutral building which fits a lot of different settings, but it does LOVE to grow!

 

 

MissVanleider

City of Crankle

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This is the city of Crankle. Really, it's a small town, but one that has quite a number of tall buildings; a large station and even a cathedral. This town grew prosperous after the huge demand for sandstone as opposed to the previous fashion of glossy, white paving led to the local sandstone miners and merchants investing in grand buildings. Years later, these buildings would house upmarket bars, hotels and quirky graphic design companies.

The sandstone mine (quarry?) is spectacular, possibly the most amazing series of images imaginable in Simcity. Unfortunately, the actual mine is one tile away, which is outside the area rendered by this region, so I obviously (and most unfortunately) can't show it to you.

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Despite the edge of town office blocks, high-tech industry and overcast sky suggesting Crankle is located somewhere in contemporary North-Western Europe or Northern America, the reality is somewhat different. It's actually in another universe. This universe is very much like our own in some respects and glaringly different in others. This is probably worth remembering any time you see something that looks unusual, strange or unrealistic to you in any of the pictures. Given an infinite number of universes, somewhere exactly like this DOES actually exist in one of them, so remember that before you come at me with your judgemental 'real universe' bias! :lol:

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Crankle Cathedral. Built a long time ago to honour one (or several) of the gods that people have mostly stopped believing in, it was once a symbol of power across the whole region, with various sects and warlords vying for control over an important religious site. Now it's home to Crankle's Tourist Information centre, and the twice-monthly craft market in a civilisation that just try to be mostly nice to each other.

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Close by, you have some more of the grand old buildings that were built when the sandstone money started to roll in. These have been complimented by modern buildings that don't seek to dominate those of the old town.

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If you're posh, you can afford to live at 45 degrees. However, housing for those living on the main grid remains more than adequate.

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These aspirational suburbanites are trying to get in on the 45 degree trend but for many it has turned into a nightmare of driveways ending in grass.

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Codswallop High School. Named for Suzy Codswallop, who; in her Chemistry class, accidentally discovered an enzyme (which hasn't been discovered in the real world yet) which eliminates 100% of human body odour. She became a billionaire at 14 but became increasingly erratic. She disappeared off to a far flung part of the world to 'find herself' aged 21 and now believes she can communicate with Otters.

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Hope you enjoyed.