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About this City Journal

A scrapbook containing my experiments and their results.

Entries in this City Journal

bien1500

Overview

The completion of Phase Two in early LC-68 PL was an eye opener to the opportunities found on this world. The soil is rich, and the air and water is clean. Humanity was just barely scratching the surface of this new frontier. 

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Phase Two - Aerial photograph showing the completed Phase Two warehouses and commercial shops selling samples of products.

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Monteverde Farms - The Monteverde family farms awaiting their shipments of horses and cattle while their apple crop is in full swing.

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I think I used FrankU's modular warehouse pack to great effect here, forming a natural extension of the Cogeo logistics center. It takes quite a while to fill areas out with MMPs, so I will only be focusing on a few key points to show. Using MMPs is much like painting. You have to keep in mind the textures and colors you're laying atop one another, the shape of your 'strokes' when you move the mouse, and the end result you have in mind. Here, I used an overlapping jagged motion to fill out the grassy areas and the pastures, overlaying two types of grass MMPs and a clover field MMP. It will take me a while to find which files have which MMPs, so I will add the list in a later update. Chances are however, you already have them.

Tree Farm

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Earth Green - The opening of the Val Rike experimental tree farm in LC-66 PL proved that some Earthborn strands of paper and ethanol trees could be grown on local soils without major genetic engineering, paving the way for sustainable paper and bioethanol production. Shown here is the lower half of the tree farm near the flour mill and abattoir, and the attached lumber yard that services the farm. The Earthborn trees stand out quite well from the native ones, as they are a brighter green.

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I just had to make up a quick story to explain the difference between the trees from the PNW tree controller and Cycledogg's ploppable trees lots from the ones that show up on the tree farm. 

Flood Wall

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Conceptualization - An artist's conceptualization of the flood wall's initial design. However, difficulties in sinking and securing the steel pylons into the soft riverbank meant that a wall-like structure sturdy enough to hold back the tides was a mere fantasy at best. A compromise was made through the proposal of a system of water locks that would separate Harmony Bay and its surrounds from the Slate River during the flooding season, though only time will tell if such a measure is effective.

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Defenses - Construction of the N-1 High Avenue extension flood wall began in early 68 PL to coincide with the completion of the Phase Two agricultural extension. Concrete barriers were erected and thousands of tetrapods were laid on the riverbank atop a layer of riprap for additional reinforcement. Meanwhile, botanists have cultivated various shrubs and grasses to help hold the floodplain's upper surface together in anticipation of the yearly floods.

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Rest Stop - Truckers make use of a rest stop built along the N-1 High Avenue, 

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I had a little trouble with the floodwall. The set shown in the Conceptualization photo looks alright at this level of zoom, but some epic texture/rendering problems arise when I zoom out so I had to replace it. These were some walls I found while trawling through uki-sim's blog, by the way. They should be around 20-30 pages in. In the fourth entry, I will wrap up with Villa Grande with a short bit on how in-game events can be used to drive your story.

 

 

 

bien1500

Overview

A recent census places Villa Grande's population at 3,194. However, the vast majority of the population work in the Harmony Bay proper, as intended. However, just beyond the river is prime land for further development as pioneered by the Kraelie family with the opening of their ranch across the Gallevalt Bridge, anticipated to connect Harmony Bay to a proposed agri-industrial district pioneered by the Kraelie family.

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New Development - Queens Farms opened a new site to capitalize on the fresh farmland reported by the Kraelie family. More companies and family businesses are slated to move in. 

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Proposed Agricultural-Industrial District - The farms will be centered around a distribution center coupled with a complex of flour mills, dairies, and breweries that would supply the neighboring cities and settlements with fresh products.

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Regional Overview - Satellite map showing the proposed areas of settlement. Areas in false color have not yet been thoroughly explored, and are merely projections of topographical data. 

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Here I'm going to be blocking out areas for more farms and some industries to feed the hungry city while creating a surplus of available jobs in anticipation of the demand caused by the establishment of Mar Anset. I spent a little time (and a few more megabytes) downloading additional lots to help flesh out the planned processing and distribution center.

Beginning Development

Development of the Villa Grande Agricultural Extension began in earnest in LC-60 PL with the arrival of the Pegasus Agricultural Consortium and the extension of the I/A-1 railway line to service the proposed site of Mar Anset City, soon to be followed by the extension of the P-1 railway line, to be amalgamated into the M-1 line once construction of the rail catenary system is complete. It wouldn't be until after the storage and distribution centers, and the new farms were well into their first growing season that factors overlooked during the hasty planning stage would become evident. 

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Railway Engineers at Work

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Construction - Phase One, Beginning (LC-61 PL)

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Construction - Phase One Finalization (LC-63 PL) - Shown above are the facilities of the Harmony Bay agricultural extension. In clockwise order, an abattoir, a flour mill,  the grain elevator, Phase One of the logistics center, a brewery, a dairy and its extension, a parts storage facility, and a combination minor rail depot and passenger station.

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A Dire Mistake (LC-65 PL) - Engineers reported feelings of unease when surveying the completed extension from the air, as if something had been overlooked. They were overworked, split between planning the extension and laying the foundations for what would become the City of Mar Anset. It turned out that space for the N-1 High Avenue extension into the site for the future Mar Anset had not been set aside. 

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A Hasty Solution (LC-67 PL) - As the agricultural extension had already been established and the farms were well underway, demolition was no longer an option in the short-term. Thus, engineers began work on extending the N-1 onto the floodplain, with a flood wall soon to follow. However, this had the effect of bypassing the agricultural extension entirely, denying it the opportunity to become a commercial hub as well. Regardless, operations continue. 

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The major components are The SPAM - F.A.R.M set, Cogeo's Logistics Centers, and JBSimio's Chelsea Mills Grain Elevator. I use a mixture of SPAM and FrankU's for the farms to create a more realistic appearance. I'm not yet going to place the MMPs, as this area will probably undergo a lot of revisioning before I'm satisfied with it. I will, however, get to that in the next entry.

It also occurs to me that i should place access roads on some of the larger farms and orchards that pop up. How large should the spacing between them be? Suggestions for other agricultural infrastructure lots, such as grain elevators, mills, and dairies are not only welcome, but desired!

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Also, if anyone could provide me a link to access road/pathway lots that match the pathways on the lower farm I would gratefully name something in the CJ after them.

bien1500

1. Villa Grande

Introduction

This is my first city journal since first signing up nearly a decade ago. Since then, I've played Simcity 4 and lurked in the community on-and-off for several years. I've come a long way, and I think it's time to share the fruits of my labor.

Each section of the CJ begins with a short blurb about the image/s that follow, which is in turn followed by a discussion on my experience in creating the image, questions, I may ask, and various other author's notes.

I used Gobias' Sudden Valley terrain, New England Cobblestone sidewalks from his HD Sidewalks mod, the Pacific Northwest Tree Controller, and the HD +silt version of Pegasus' Brigantine water mod, atop the Humboldt region.

Overview

Villa Grande is a rather small town of around 2,100 established in Local Calendar-52 Post Landfall as an extension of the City of Harmony Bay and home to many unique features such as Schreifer's Stones, the Wreck of the MV Rivacoma, and the Gallevalt Bridge. It is situated on the same outcropping of land upon which the city proper was built, separated from the city itself by a greenbelt. Bordering it on the north, south, and east is the Slate River, known for its rocky banks and wide floodplains, though the river is wide and deep enough to handle shipping with ease despite this fact. 

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Villa Grande

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Town Center at Night

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Town Center at Day

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Kraelie Farm and Ranch

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Villa Grande, as well as the other two tiles I have already developed, Harmony Bay and Atherton aren't quite done yet, so I will be spending the next few entries doing so before moving on to other vistas.

I wanted to give Villa Grande a more exclusive, yet mysterious/detached feel compared to the more metropolitan Harmony Bay area while still keeping some semblance of a grid to reflect its closeness to its 'parent'. So I used dense packs of trees and the WMP Allotments as filler between the highly-spaced houses. I actually used random woods lots to achieve this effect in a shorter time than I would have taken with just MMP's alone.

The MV Rivacoma and Others

The MV Rivacoma was an oil carrier that had run aground in LC-34 PL due to a series of malfunctions that struck the ship as she navigated up the Slate River from the Portal. Eyewitness reports tell of strange lights and figures seen on the riverbanks and aboard the ship prior, during, and after the incident but investigation has so far revealed nothing but a series of unfortunate events. Conspiracy theorists would say otherwise, given the frequency of similar events that end the same way. Many point to the stones as the cause, but surely such is superstition?

Regardless, many years have passed since the initial wreck and the crews have long since moved on to other waters.

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Work Crew at Night - A work crew assigned to break up the wreck rests for the night.

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Work Crew at Day - The work crew begins the day by setting up a bonfire into which the oil left in the Rivacoma's tanks will be dumped.

Schreifer's Stones

The stone circles were discovered not long after landfall, but the focus on setting up the initial settlement that would become the City of Harmony Bay meant that actual study of these stones would not come until after the founding of Villa Grande. Since then, they have inspired numerous writers as well as incited debates in universities all over the Republic. 

The stones are certainly a mystery. Who moved these massive stones, and why? And what connection do they have with the strange circumstances behind the shipwrecks and reported strange lights?

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The Stones at Dusk - Campers prepare to spend the night outside the SS-1A arrangement.

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Sense of Scale - The campers in the shadow of the stones

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More Stones - Villa Grande encroaches on the SS-2A arrangement and the wrecks of the MV Gryps. Development will go no further

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Initially, I had considered creating a ship graveyard at the head of the peninsula, eventually moving my thoughts to a starship graveyard before settling on a circle of standing stones. I liked the outcome so much that I decided to develop a little plotline from it that incorporates the shipwrecks I'd placed previously.

On the topic of creating the stone circles themselves, I used a known method of using the police kiosk and the crime data view to create outlines to trace the stones on. I'd named the arrangement after a Simtropolis member that had been on the chat at the time while I was showing the initial pictures. I urge you to view and download his work!

Next Entry: In which I continue building up the riverbank and place more farms.

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