So I have been playing SC4 again this last week...
Welcome to Auckland & Greater Region II, all 198 massive tiles of it. My current area of development is "Clevedon Valley" a semi-rural, hilly area to the south-east of Auckland, comprising...
So I have been playing SC4 again this last week...
M.U.L.E. (Mountain UtiLity Extension)
The MUPPET's (Mountain Utility Personnel Providers of Extended Technology) have been busy creating a new utility pack for our mountain and rural areas.
They have come up with the following five utility lots:
Waste to Energy Burn Pile
Donkey Engine Power Generator
Longdrop Composting Power Generator (Toxic fumes)
Longdrop Composting Power Generator
Moonshine Still Water Pump
All the lots have varying smoke and 'vapour' effects depending on what the utility is actually producing. Naturally the most noxious of the four is the longdrop, and yes it does cause just a small amount of air pollution (10). The good news however is that while it produces the same power output as the donkey generator (500), its running costs are considerably less, after all... as long as the TP costs are covered... the rest is pretty much free.
These utility lots have reduced stats and outputs, as they are not intended to power or water a whole tile... rather just a small isolated part of it. Of course if you want to stick one of these babies, in your ultra modern megatropolis, and call it an 'art installation' then of course you can!
All lots have transparent base textures to blend with whichever terrain mod is being used, and are slope tolerant.
Donkey Engine Power Generator
Longdrop Composting Power Plant (with toxic fumes)
Longdrop Composting Power Plant (without toxic fumes)...
Moonshine Still Water Pump
Waste to Energy Burn Pile
BETA - M.U.L.E.
...no no no, not that sort of beta mule...
OK... here we are then... here is the full pack of 5 M.U.L.E. lots ready for beta testing...
the number of garbage trucks from WtoE Burn Pile.)
Moonshine Still Water Pump
I have 're-purposed' the moonshine still to pump the good stuff right out of the ground.
I just need to whip off the base texture, and then I will add a download link for y'alls.
Donkey Engine Power
Yeah I couldn't resist having a little mess around in Lot Editor again... just a 1x1 but a pretty useful 1x1 IMHO.
The boys have fired up the old donkey engine, and connected the flywheel to a generator. I am not entirely sure if the set up is completely safety approved, but it does seem to work! The boys seem to alternate between chopping wood and standing around yakking.
Full M.U.L.E. (Mountain UtiLity Extension) available here.
STOP THE FREAKING INTERNET!!!!
I have just discovered the existence of these:
Of course I have been a long time user of the:
...but these other two mods.... why have I only just been informed?
Wairoa Reservoir - Terrain Detailing
Terrain detailing... set aside a few hours, put on your inner zen... and click your way to MM flora enlightenment.
Wairoa Reservoir - More Development
God mode pine planting... so much faster than the old MM flora way!
Medical landing strip
Railway worker cottages
It may be Maxis, but I really like this bridge. Needs terrain detailing underneath.
Upper dam. More terrain detailing of the lower river required!
Yep... it is getting there. More terrain detailing of the rivers required...
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Yes, yes... I know I haven't been around for a bit.
Well then, if I am actually going to do a proper CJ update I am going to have to remember a few things... Like... how to play the game. Seriously.
:: rummages around for disc 2 ::
Right... well since my last update, I now have a different laptop; the last one that replaced my old faithful dv5 only lasted 18 months before it overheated and died.
Windows 8 is a load of crap just sayin.
I have SC4 loaded on this new one, (Win 7 professional) ... but yeah it is still not running perfectly - getting a few graphic issues. Have to tweak as we go. Fortunately I did have my plugins and SC4 folders backed up so I can more or less pick up from where I left off. Wherever that was.
Next I am going to have to remember how to post an image in here... Photobucket is not cooperating so let's try Dropbox... where the frap do you find the link...
I feel like such a $%&^!..
:: Sometime later ::
OK so here is the Wairoa Reservoir tile pretty much as I left it a couple of years ago. The lake and river on the right hand side of the tile has been marked out with road tiles from the top of the tile to the bottom.
The top edge of the tile makes a neighbour connection with Upper Mangatawhiri Reservoir and the lake continues over to Wairoa Reservior, (which still has not been detailed with water so still shows as green grass.
In the Upper Mangatawhiri Reservoir tile to the left of the main lake there is also a river, road and railway that also connects to Wairoa Reservoir.
Excuse me... getting distracted looking at the bridges...
Right back to Wairoa Reservoir. I have marked out a secondary river that will also run from the top to the bottom of the tile with strips of road and single road tiles. The trick here is to follow the natural contour of the tile as much as I can, letting the river follow the most natural course as possible, without changing the original terraforming too much. The top of the tile is higher in elevation to the bottom.
Top edge of tile looking south.
Lower edge of tile looking north. I also use road neighbour connections to mark exactly where the river continues on the next tile.
Side view of tile looking east, showing the entire course of the river that will flow down the valley from top to bottom.
OK so let's make something... how about another pair of those bridges from the Upper Mangatawhiri Reservoir tile? Hmm... I wonder if I can still remember the drill...
Which menu is the rain tool in again? Oh yeah... there it is!
Yup. Still got it.
How about we get some residents to move in? They can go to work next door for the time being.
Well that was fun.
In February 2013 we were quite badly burgled, they pretty much cleaned out all our electronics including my faithful 2008 HP dv5 laptop, workhorse of all my Simcity regions, cities and and development over the last 4 years.
Fortunately however, I had a back-up of my document folder on an external hard drive which was not stolen, despite being in a drawer that was tipped out all over the floor and rummaged through... also in the same drawer was my back-up copy of SC4... used only once to install the game when my old disc 2 (also lost with the laptop) would not re-install the game but I later found would still start it.
My insurance has now replaced my laptop with a shiny new HP dv6 Envy... now firmly attached to the wall with a laptop locking cable... and I have re-installed SC4, restored my document folder, worked out how to do all those SC4 updates again, including fixing the nightlights...
...so I course I needed to crank up SC4 again... yeah it has been a while, and see where my backup left off. I also managed to work out a much better screen resolution, than I had before so I can now see much more of my region in region view.
Click for fullsize
So let take a zoom into Upper Mangatawhiri Reservoir... pretty much the last tile I had worked on...
Ararimu - Filling in the Gaps
... but whats the empty area in first pic? No trees, no farms, nothing? Are you thinking something most excellent surprise...
Well... let's see...
The Poor Old Mill, is actually not doing too poorly at all.
How about an open cast ore mine, and some factories? I mixed and matched the 'new' Fukitol Flour Mill and Clevedon Valley Cheese Factory using Fukuda's models, along with one of his original lots and added in a twist of SPAM produce sheds.
A closer look...
Road and rail across the gully.
STR... yep I am still in love.
This fire station is the SPAM UDI station... put one of these in your tile and it then activates the fire plane on the SPAM Fire Landing Strip. It still also functions as a fire station.
Burn pile and saw dust burner.
Timber Lumber Co.
Pulp and Paper Mill.
Wood handling yards and cement plant.
...and back around to the Poor Old Mill again.
The freight is leaving via the lower freight station, but is jumping the line and leaving via the top track. SC4 is weird like that sometimes.
Close up of the ore pit.
Ararimu - The Long and Winding Road
This is the tile that I have been developing, since the extended logging stuff was released, and it has also provided a testing ground for my MTP-SPAM Residential Growables. So this is a MTP-Logging-SPAM grafted hybrid tile!
Let's go zoom one for a point of reference. Small logging town in the valley flatlands, supported by a SPAM agricultural community, and a wider pine plantation, with sparse residential up the 'long and winding road' out of town.
In this tile I have pushed the Sims to a maximum 'long commute'... here I have $$$ Sims commuting from one side of a large tile to the other, and out the neighbour connection on the lower side.
The valley flatland area is all SPAM residential cabins, mostly $ but a few higher wealth Sims have managed to sneak in.
Being a fairly conservative rural area, there are a couple of churches... naturally a church next to a maize field should be called the Amaizing Grace Chapel. (They have been known to allow a little hand raisin and hand clapping and on one occasion someone even did the 'pentecostal two-step'...
Up the road a bit at the Reformed Lotterians they are a little more traditional. Strictly "Stand up now, Sit down now, say Amen now".
This town is all about wood... and it supports several sawmills.
The 'down-town' crossroads.
Once we move across the railway.. (STR of course)... we soon leave the SPAM residential behind, and quickly it is all about the pine tree.
One or two small holder SPAM blocks still manage to find a little sun between the pines.
When you have your Sims spread from one end of the tile to the other, the best way to educate them is the MTP School of the Air.
Love thy neighbour... but not too close... folks concept of personal space is a little different out here.
Deep in the forest, the medical landing strip can quick evacuate any logging workers who are injured.
...and the road winds on.
...until eventually you get to the other side!
Three lots one water tower.
Just a quick nip, back into town to check on Angus and Fergus, our AI bulls... yup they are still quite content and fulfilling their 'duties'.
Ararimu - Rail Construction
I need to break out a new tile, for all that new logging stuff.
There is a bit of a hollow basin area in the lower left corner... that is where I need to build the town, but if it is going to be a log town, then I am going to need a rail line. The road and rail neighbour connections back to Camp Greenlake are hard to see, but are on the bottom edge of the tile. The rail will eventually pass all the way though Camp Greenlake, Clevedon River and eventually to Clevedon Bay to the port.
The terrain is rolling, but not impossible... it will probably take a couple of bridges and viaducts to eventually curve back down and around to where the town is going to be.
The most important thing when laying rail is that it needs to be flat... bumpy rail lines don't work! The best way to achieve this is to lay singe rail tiles (or road) to enusre a smooth rail bed.
The embankment can then be cut though with more road tiles where a bridge can be built later.
Sometimes the terrain will be too steep for rail tiles, so switch to road tiles.
Those retaining wall tiles can be demolished later, and a bridge built, but laying them across first, ensures that the bank on the other side of the bridge is exactly the right height.
Whoa! Let's flatten that out a bit first shall we?
This is where I want to bring the grade down the hill to the flat area for the town... laying just a regular track gives me an idea where I need it to go.
But, it needs to be smoothed out, so I use the soften tool, and then for fine detailing the mayor valley/mountain tool set on the smallest size. I don't use a slope mod.
Put in the bridges and viaducts...
...and there it is completed right back to the neighbour connection where it enters the tile.
The future site of a log town...
I guess we will need some trees to log... eh..
Now I know you all probably think I have been getting distracted by geothermal steam, and logging sets and silly word story games, and have been neglecting to do the needful back here in Bean Rock. Well yes I have been getting distracted, but yes, I have still managed to make some progress...
In the last update, the pictures were taken so as to avoid the fact that there was still quite a lot of terrain detailing of the reservoir to do... which I confess I at times I do put off, or at least have to wait until my yin and yang are aligned the right way or something like that...
I decided to go for a reasonably green edge this time... this one uses a combination of around seven or so different brushes... so what you do is pick a point and complete the entire circuit around the edge, clicking not dragging... and eventually you get the job done.
Cossey's Reservoir and Power House
A little more progress on the Upper Mangatawhiri tile.
Cossey's Power House.
Young hooligans have been out with the spray cans again...
This is the bridge I made for the tutorial... now detailed.
I have tried something a little different with the terrain detailing this time... I think it came out OK.
While I love the pines... I have been looking for a way to represent the NZ bush... Hemblem's tropical trees are pretty good for this, nice and green and lush.
An Evening With Lowkee33
I took a stroll around my region this evening with Lowkee... this was the result...
Upper Mangatawhiri Reservoir
Still under construction...
Got to have a railway!
This is where the tile joins back to Camp Green Lake. If you are going to have a dam, it may as well earn its pixels and generate some power!
I don't like STR... I LOVE STR!
The railway winds its way across the tile, follows the shore of the Upper Mangatawhiri Reservoir, and then heads off the edge... (but we all know that it joins to the next tile don't we?)
I came to a hard decision regarding Aspen... ...it does not really fit with my current region... so...
I imported a clean copy of the tile from my back-up region... which is now called Mangatangi Reservoir.
But have no fear! Aspen is still with us! ... it is safe and sound in the Region of "Blue - Large"...
Wairoa Reservoir - Upper Mangatawhiri Reservoir
The Hunua Ranges provide a large water catchment and the several water reservoirs are an important part of Auckland's water supply. I have now started a couple of new tiles, to the south east of the Clevedon tiles. Early progress... laying out the base of the reservoir...
This terrace, will become a dam.
I am now using Epicblunder's method of using pipes to mark the continuation of the lake... to the neighbouring tile. So much better than using road neighbour connections which I used to do... those then have to be demolished and mess up your terrain detailing, whereas the pipes can stay there permanently for future reference and can be easily toggled with the "I" key.
Hunua Regional Park - Google Map
If you are interested in taking a look at the real Hunua Regional Park, and the various dams...
*The lake in my Aspen Snow Resort tile... which I made some time ago is actually the lower Mangatangi Reservoir in RL... alas there is not really a snow resort there... Auckland is too far north for snow.
I have made some progress with the Upper Mangatawhiri Reservoir tile... mainly working on the connection back to Camp Green Lake. This tile now has three dams / reservoirs...
Cossey's Reservoir, Wairoa Reservoir and Upper Mangatawhiri Reservoir.
This is where things are starting to get a little tricky... because while the Upper Mangatawhiri tile is pretty true to RL... The Camp Green Lake tile is fictional, in that in reality, there is no lake there ... in fact the flat base of the lake is actually the farming valley of the small rural community of Hunua. Such is the dilemma of using an accurate scale map, such as my Greater Auckland Region... how close to you try to re-create what is really there and where can you add in a little fiction...? Or at least bend the truth a little? For example while there is indeed a lake in the same place as the one in the Aspen tile... as I mentioned further up the page, it is not really a ski resort. Some of these fictional tiles were made sometime ago, so you live with the decisions you made at the time on how to develop them...
Just out of Queenstown in the South Island of New Zealand is the Kawarau Bridge. It also happens to have a bungy platform.
Now where were we again?
Ah... that's right the Kawarau Bungy Bridge... and now Murimk has made a flash new one, sans bungy platform...
*Going down to check out the real Kawarau Bridge, next month!
Ski Resort Trails
Quite some time ago when I first started dabbling in LE, I made myself some narrow MTP Pine Trails...
They are a nice enough little set... but they have base textures... which gives that 'lined' look...
Recently I have been working on a new set of mountain trails which I have decided to call "Ski Resort Trails", to differentiate between the pine trails... as the primary prop used in these new lots is the ski resort path texture...
(Yeah that is my story and I am sticking to it... I think... for now...)
So then I thought... what if they had transparent base textures with a nice gravel path... that would blend in a lot better with the terrain...
Yup... not too bad at all... phase one of my cunning plan is complete...
But what about winter? What happens then... ? Well if the gravel path actually happens to be the Snow Resort Path Texture... then in winter the gravel path becomes footprints in the snow...
Anyone for a swim in the pond? ... Hmm maybe ice-skating...
The annual 'Brass Monkeys' winter camp!
A roaring fire is mandatory!
Anyhoo... I then made a couple of new pieces... a small curve and a large curve... not quite so angular as the small 90 corner.
Winter... with the PEG Snow Mod installed...
Winter stepping stones...
Couldn't resist taking a zoomed out shot of my rail spiral!
Aspen - Complete!
In a rare display of blinding efficiency and mass plantings of pine trees over a whole evening may I present to you the completed Aspen Ski Resort.
The upper slopes are accessed by heli-skiing.
Lake Aspen is the centre feature of the tile.
Top of the tile, heli-skiing drop-off... as you can see the wind is blowing rather stiffly up here.
The lower slopes accessed by chair lift are busier.
Awww... bless... they all fell over.
I love this small hydro dam... I use it when ever I can.
Yay! Santa's village... I hope you have all been good! Mostly...
This update has been proudly brought to you courtesy of R.U.M.P. (Rural Udderground Moo-vement Provider).
*Hot chocolate fudge cookie if you can work out where it is!
Aspen Terrain Detailing
I have not been in the Aspen Tile for a while... the interesting thing about this tile is that it has been constructed entirely with the PEG Snow Mod installed. Anyway I noticed there was a section of the river below the lake that had not been detailed... a common problem in my tiles...
Well let's get on with it then...
The stream is icy but not completely frozen.
Zoom out... ayup... looking good... Hmm... what else can I do while I am here....?
Medical Landing Strip... comes in handy when the nearest fully equipped large hospital is about 4 large tiles away in the region.
SHK "Tropical" Fire Station
Tropical. The label said Tropical...
Well... um... yeah... must be a tropical ski resort...
*Works just fine without the HBS_FloraPropPackvol.01.dat... you just don't get the palm trees.
Falling Water - Four Seasons
I took a slightly different approach to the Lot Master, in that I actually fossicked around and actually found all the dependencies... even trekking off to the official EA site to get Stonehenge, and the Parthenon... wow that is an interesting installation thingy... doesn't tell you where it is installing it... just tells you that it has... eventually found them in the program files plugin folder... anyhoo...
Well must crack on... I have been rather conflicted lately... to play the game or to develop custom content... the problem is further compounded by the fact that every time I attempt to play the game, I think of new ideas to develop... or I go... I really need a F.A.R.M. or a R.U.M.P. or a R.A.V.E...
Anyhoo... Redoubt is where I have been trying out all the new goodies that have been coming our way lately, both from my own LoteditorbetamaximserTM and from others.
Redoubt is still a young tile... primarily I wanted to boost the residential numbers to provide more workers to commute next door to Clevedon Valley... but yeah then all those new landmark lots with jobs started arriving...
DDT & Sons Farm Supplies and R.A.V.E (Rural Ancillary Veterinary Extension)
Yup... just checking in on Angus and Fergus... looks like they have plenty to be carrying on with.
Just a quick region view to put us all into context.
Two County Landfills
Now of course for years and years we have all be quite happily tossing our garbage over the side of the tile using the PEG Garbage Chute.
But what about the neighbouring tile you ask... doesn't the garbage just get shoved from one tile to the next in some kind of dodgy neighbour deal?
Good question... so I decided to test this out.
Here are two standard issue rural neighbours... the county line actually bisects the two county landfills down the middle. Both adjoining counties send their garbage there and bulldoze it in.
On one side we have the county of Redoubt and its landfill... as you can quite plainly see the garbage happily disappears over the side...
Over in Clevedon Valley their landfill backs onto the Redoubt County one... as you can quite plainly see the garbage happily disappears over the side...
They are a little more hygiene conscious, and their trash trucks, use the SPAR wheel washer on the way out...
So... where does the garbage go? Good question. All I know is that both sides keep shoving it in, and the garbage just keeps disappearing!
Now that is what I call 'falling through the cracks'!