• Moose
  • Entries
    5
  • Comments
    8
  • Views
    660

About this City Journal

History:

It's been almost 12 years, since my old city journal of Crystal Junction went dark. At the time, Sim City 4 was still relatively new, Simtropolis was just a few years old, and the newest NAM feature to come out were individual on-ramps for highways. I know that's been a while, but at the time I had one of most popular city journals on here, with nearly 738 replies (combination posts/ comments) and 60,000 views. Crystal Junction: a vast desert metropolis straddling a deep rugged canyon. People who joined this site in the early days likely remember it, mostly due to the city's vast urban sprawl across the desert landscape.  My last official post was April 19, 2005 when I had to make the sad and unfortunate decision to end to journal due to various life issues at the time.

Thinking of a Rebirth and Game Switch:

After close to 7 years of being out of the city building world, back in October of 2016, I made the decision to get back into this universe. The unfortunate part was Sim City 4 went so far ahead with BAT, NAM, and countless other mods that I felt overwhelmed, thinking I could not catch up to everything. Maybe it was time to try a new city simulator. The first obvious choice was to try out Sim City 2013; however, after reading reviews, watching youtube videos and seeing pics of the game, I was sadly unimpressed. (No offense intended towards any SC2013 players). Then just by chance i happened to come across a youtube video of Cities: Skylines, and was just blown away from the level of detail the game had.  I ended up buying Cities: Skylines and trying it out, and just feel in love with it.

(Sim City 4 fans, please don't misinterpret me, I still and thinking of at some point reinstalling SC4 and trying to play catch up, just not yet.)

I started my Frontier City Journal back in November, and it has turned into a detailing frenzy, and currently is my pride and glory on here. Frontier City is also a prototype to see what this game can do, and how far I can take it. At the start of 2017, I started thinking. Maybe I should lookup old projects and see if they could be redone. Then it clicked, I should redo Crystal Junction in Cities: Skylines, and see how I can revitalize a long dead legend. Now because of the game shift, some might be disappointed and I do apologize. At the same time however, a new decade, a new take.

Filling a big pair of shoes:

Redoing Crystal Junction in Cities Skylines is not going to be no easy task. I am going to be trying to fill a really big pair of old shoes. Like any city building endeavor I take, I prefer to create every part of the city from scratch (minus buildings of course, I have no 3D modeling skills). First will be the map, and then utilities, and onward. C:SL has big maps to work with, but the map may not be big enough for this journal, and I am contemplating creating 2, possibly three separate maps for the city. Still thinking about how to merge them as far as pictures go. The other option will be a single map and just using the map space as best I can. (Any input would be appreciated on these ideas). I will be redoing the city entirely, but trying to keep key elements of the original city's landscape.

The other issue I have to contend with it C:SL's absolutely horrible development simulator, which is going to make this a real challenge. With SC4, cities develop based off of total population, urban center, and other more lifelike factors. C:SL on the otherhand wants to turn every house into a high tech ugly condo and every office into a tower. Natural city growth will be difficult, and I may end up just having to build the city from the center onward as if I was putting a puzzle together, instead of raising a puppy as it grows into a full grown dog.

For the time being I will be focused on a single map and terraforming it into a desert landscape with a vast deep canyon running through the middle, as was the case with the original journal. After the map is finished, Crystal Junction will be a side project, until most of the Frontier City journal is complete. Since Frontier City is planned on a long term journal, Crystal Junction updates will be slow at first, so please be patient.

Comments:

As always I appreciate any comments, input, etc.... Feel free to tell me your thoughts on this, even give suggestions. Like the old Crystal Junction, this new one will have a large degree of interactivity, where people reading can help put ideas forth for developing the city. If anyone has any ideas on how to best keep a multiple map city journal in C:SL, please let me know.

Below is just a blank slate for the map, representing just about 10 minutes of map editing. There is a lot of work to do. BTW: I am using @Fluxtrance's Arrowhead Valley map theme, and @Strictoaster,s Arrowhead Valley LUT on this, since both seem to be perfect for desert-type maps.

alx8OT.jpg

As always, any thoughts, let me know.

Thanks.

Entries in this City Journal

whiteshark365

Under the desert sun and endless dusty wastes, thin ribbons of civilization begin to cut through the sand and a beacon of humanity begins to rise.

yl9sEo.jpg
Freeways 64 and 55 as they meet in the desert, and depart their separate ways into the wastelands.

iEmY8V.jpg
The sandy hills give way to little more than dust and the occasional cactus as vehicles cling to the narrow highways.

KOzqQw.jpgA mighty structure rises above the Crystal Canyon, the Crystal Canyon Bridge.

K6gnaX.jpg
Two thousand feet to the bottom. (This is a testament to the incredible power of the move-it mod.)

niOER8.jpg
As the sun sets, the scorching oppression of the desert heat begins to loss it's grip.

xCHabT.jpg
Crystal Canyon Bridge at night.

upkGAV.jpg
Human ingenuity brings water and life to a barren expanse.

9XLzo5.jpg
Even the desert isn't immune to the grip of industry.

 

whiteshark365

I am working very hard to get my first official post up in this journal, and am coming across a lot of snags that need to be worked out. Working on this type of map in skylines is really testing the ability of what the game can and can't do. Below is a list of issues I need to figure out. Before actually working on the city, I want to get the power and water systems up and running, then working on some of the basic highway and rail systems that just travel through the map.

1. The canyon is so wide and deep, the game will not allow me to build a bridge or road across it, even with road anarchy and the fine road tools mod. A possible workaround for this will likely be building the bridge length on flat ground and using the move-it mod. There are some cable stay props that are a perfect size for the canyon width which is quite fortunate.

2. A more ambitious plan of my for development is the construction of an aqueduct system across the map, that traverses rather large elevation changes. This will likely involve using the water treatment plants and wastewater pipes as pumps to change the water elevation between segments, as well as the use of a combination of quays and canals. On an interesting note with this, i tried using road tunnels, thinking I can use them as a water pipe, unfortunately the game will not allow water to travel through tunnels, even if one end is submerged and the entire length of the tunnel is below the water table. Thought it would be a neat feature to have emergency relief tunnels on the sides of the dam.

3. Water transportation and power crossing the canyon will be another issue. The power I can manage, but from a geographic standpoint and for realism, each side will likely need its own independent water source. Possibly a second aqueduct on the other side of the canyon.

Any Suggestions for these issues are appreciated.

In the meantime here are a few preview pics.

kYnNl8.jpgSandy River Dam in development.

FXRb3K.jpg
Higher Quality satellite view, showing the canyon and Sandy River Reservoir.

whiteshark365

fFe5y9.jpg
 

C854RW.jpg
 

OQVpgy.jpg

Wlr2OB.jpg

gwxAPG.jpg

The map is finally finished. My original height map import was just too perfect to do any major modifications to. Only additions I needed to add were some desert plants and to flatten out vast areas of the map to make them suitable for city building. I probably could have done a lot more landscaping, but didn't have the time. For now I am using the arrowhead theme, since it gives the map the most arid appearance.

As far as city growth and expansion, I am still working on ideas for this; however, I am going to attempt to grow the city from a small desert outpost to a vast desert metropolis straddling both sides of the canyon. If my expansion requires space beyond this map, then I will create additional city tiles as necessary.

I am really looking forward to starting to development this this.

whiteshark365

Well, against my better judgement I have decided to do something I've never done before with creating a map for a city, and this is import a height map. In the past I've always been opposed to the idea because I wanted to create some unique that isn't found anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, the C:SL map editor lacks a key feature that the SC4 map editor has and that is an erode tool. When I created the original Crystal Junction Map in SC4, the erode tool was essential, otherwise I am stuck with manually raising and lowering the terrain practically in every tile to get it to look somewhat realistic, a process that could take months.

So instead of starting the map entirely from scratch, I imported a height map and will just customize it to fit the city's landscape. Below are a few pics of what is going to be the base map. I used a height map of the little Colorado river in northern central Arizona, which was was a canyon of just the perfect size and depth for what I was looking for. Still I need to modify it some. I have ideas on a few key terrain features, and need to add vegetation, rocks, and other props to perfect it.

I am stuck on deciding a theme for the map. I was going to use the Arrowhead Junction theme, but then I found OWLs Tropcity/Desert theme, which I also really like. Below are a few pics. As I mentioned before I would like this journal to be interactive, so maybe you guys could give me some input on which theme you like better.

ToA1Mj.jpg
Tropcity/Desert Theme

1O9bIk.jpg
Closeup of the canyon with the Tropcity/Desert theme.

Syc71c.jpg
Arrowhead Junction theme.

UH0jTD.jpg
Closeup of the arrowhead junction theme.

Let me know your thoughts on which one you like better.

whiteshark365

History:

It's been almost 12 years, since my old city journal of Crystal Junction went dark. At the time, Sim City 4 was still relatively new, Simtropolis was just a few years old, and the newest NAM feature to come out were individual on-ramps for highways. I know that's been a while, but at the time I had one of most popular city journals on here, with nearly 738 replies (combination posts/ comments) and 60,000 views. Crystal Junction: a vast desert metropolis straddling a deep rugged canyon. People who joined this site in the early days likely remember it, mostly due to the city's vast urban sprawl across the desert landscape.  My last official post was April 19, 2005 when I had to make the sad and unfortunate decision to end to journal due to various life issues at the time.

Thinking of a Rebirth and Game Switch:

After close to 7 years of being out of the city building world, back in October of 2016, I made the decision to get back into this universe. The unfortunate part was Sim City 4 went so far ahead with BAT, NAM, and countless other mods that I felt overwhelmed, thinking I could not catch up to everything. Maybe it was time to try a new city simulator. The first obvious choice was to try out Sim City 2013; however, after reading reviews, watching youtube videos and seeing pics of the game, I was sadly unimpressed. (No offense intended towards any SC2013 players). Then just by chance i happened to come across a youtube video of Cities: Skylines, and was just blown away from the level of detail the game had.  I ended up buying Cities: Skylines and trying it out, and just feel in love with it.

(Sim City 4 fans, please don't misinterpret me, I still and thinking of at some point reinstalling SC4 and trying to play catch up, just not yet.)

I started my Frontier City Journal back in November, and it has turned into a detailing frenzy, and currently is my pride and glory on here. Frontier City is also a prototype to see what this game can do, and how far I can take it. At the start of 2017, I started thinking. Maybe I should lookup old projects and see if they could be redone. Then it clicked, I should redo Crystal Junction in Cities: Skylines, and see how I can revitalize a long dead legend. Now because of the game shift, some might be disappointed and I do apologize. At the same time however, a new decade, a new take.

Filling a big pair of shoes:

Redoing Crystal Junction in Cities Skylines is not going to be no easy task. I am going to be trying to fill a really big pair of old shoes. Like any city building endeavor I take, I prefer to create every part of the city from scratch (minus buildings of course, I have no 3D modeling skills). First will be the map, and then utilities, and onward. C:SL has big maps to work with, but the map may not be big enough for this journal, and I am contemplating creating 2, possibly three separate maps for the city. Still thinking about how to merge them as far as pictures go. The other option will be a single map and just using the map space as best I can. (Any input would be appreciated on these ideas). I will be redoing the city entirely, but trying to keep key elements of the original city's landscape.

The other issue I have to contend with it C:SL's absolutely horrible development simulator, which is going to make this a real challenge. With SC4, cities develop based off of total population, urban center, and other more lifelike factors. C:SL on the otherhand wants to turn every house into a high tech ugly condo and every office into a tower. Natural city growth will be difficult, and I may end up just having to build the city from the center onward as if I was putting a puzzle together, instead of raising a puppy as it grows into a full grown dog.

For the time being I will be focused on a single map and terraforming it into a desert landscape with a vast deep canyon running through the middle, as was the case with the original journal. After the map is finished, Crystal Junction will be a side project, until most of the Frontier City journal is complete. Since Frontier City is planned on a long term journal, Crystal Junction updates will be slow at first, so please be patient.

Comments:

As always I appreciate any comments, input, etc.... Feel free to tell me your thoughts on this, even give suggestions. Like the old Crystal Junction, this new one will have a large degree of interactivity, where people reading can help put ideas forth for developing the city. If anyone has any ideas on how to best keep a multiple map city journal in C:SL, please let me know.

Below is just a blank slate for the map, representing just about 10 minutes of map editing. Limitless potential here. There is a lot of work to do. BTW: I am using @Fluxtrance's Arrowhead Valley map theme, and @Strictoaster,s Arrowhead Valley LUT on this, since both seem to be perfect for desert-type maps.

alx8OT.jpg

As always, any thoughts, let me know.

Thanks.

PS: If anyone wants me to post some old pics of Crystal Junction, also let me know. I still have a lot of them.