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About this City Journal

A poor attempt by an unskilled BATer to create SimCity Jurassic Park from scratch. Now abandoned. Inspired by the New Rhodesia CJ years ago.

Entries in this City Journal

Monkee_boy

Introduction

A few years ago a CJer whose name I can't remember was running a popular journal for his region of New Rhodesia. A skilled BATer, this guy succeeded in making a highly attractive Jurassic Park set - which I think he abandoned in favor of something far grander, and never made available to the public.

I am - I stress -  extremely unskilled at BATing, but working with some models from Operation Genesis and the few building pictures shown on the New Rhodesia CJ, I determined to try my best to recreate an accurate depiction of Jurassic Park, compatible with both the Crichton novels, and the film. Needless to say, I did not get far, and abandoned the project long ago due to computer switchovers and uni work, but I thought people might appreciate the eye-candy I did manage to get into the game (and hopefully inspire someone else to improve on my work so I can do it properly!)

Here are the images, then.

The site was to be made up of several areas. First, the port and landing strip. Second, the worker village where staff live while on the island. Third, the hatchery, a large building where the science happens. Fourth, the main visitor complex where tours start and the rangers etc. are based. Fifth, a hotel complex for less well-off guests ("this park is not only for the super-rich!"). Sixth, the safari lodge where VIPs and wealthy visitors stay. Seventh is the park itself, within a perimeter fence, and accessed by a network of maintenance roads and the track for the tour-cars. Within the park would be the river ride and aviary, accessed by Jeeps along muddy tracks.

Later I planned to add a petting zoo where visitors could meet the baby dinosaurs, a series of large sheds housing the veterinarians, maintenance depot, a research facility for visiting scientists, etc. These never materialised.

Here, you see the main gate to jurassic park, built so large even King Kong could use it. Please ignore the ill-fitting bears and llamas (anyone know how to switch those off btw?)

The main gate

Also in this shot you can see the low-security perimiter fence and ditch (does not match surrounding grass, repeating pattern of ditch too regular) and the tour-trackway (I found it nearly impossible to make the lot work as an alternative roadway; my modeling of the guide-rail was clumsy)

Next, we have the main visitor complex. This is where Grant etc. were brought immediately after seeing the Brachiosaurs. The dirt track on the left is where they were driven up to the front door in the Jeeps. Both Jeeps and Landcruisers are based at the vehicle depot. The raptor pen is in its usual place, although I would have preferred to put it in a sandy depression rather further from the Visitor Centre.

At bottom you can see the Safari Lodge (which appears only in the novel). The small shed leading into the massive underground power-station was off to the top right somewhere, but it seems I didn't think to take a screenshot of it.

You wouldn't guess from looking at its patheticness, but I spent a lot of time trying to get the layout to match exactly the film and novel canon.

Visitor Complex

The next image shows a view of the vehicle depot, the main bit of BATing from scratch I did.

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I was quite proud of it on the whole, and round the back there's an elaborate doorway and iron staircase which you can't see. It wasn't an original piece of work, however; I was trying to recreate this building originally made by the creator of New Rhodesia:

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Next we have the ranger depot, ripped straight out of JP:OG

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I had it rigged up as a police station to avoid having to have such a dumb thing on my island. There was an airport-style fire station in the nearby worker village, I think. Talking of the worker village, let's have a look at the big picture:

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From here you can see part of the park (within the perimeter fence, left) and the long winding dirt track bringing visitors from the helipad, dock or airstrip. Rich people would have disembarked from a helicopter, as in the original film and novel and get the five-star journey through the brachiosaur paddock on their way to the lodge. Less rich visitors would arrive by jet or boat (weather permitting) and ride in a coach to the hotel (at the stage of construction seen in this picture, the hotel complex is just a little pool beyond the hills).

Here's the hatchery, with its holding pens for baby dinos behind:9.bmp

The hatchery appears mainly in the book of the Lost World, and strictly speaking is not on this island. I cheated, thinking it makes more sense to site it here.

"Thorne stared, astonished. In the centre of the clearing he saw the flat roof of an enormous building. It covered several acres, stretching awayinto the distance. It was the size of two football fields. At the far end of the main building, Thorne saw loading docks, and turnarounds for trucks. Taken together, the whole complex had a utilitarian quality that reminded Thorne of an industrial site, or a fabrication plant. He frowned, trying to put it together. " (p128, The Lost World)

Another building I had to go back to the books for was the visitor lodge. It's been built to the exact specifications of Chrichton's lodge - right down to an intricate deconstruction of the mechanics of the scene where ellie plays hide and seek with a raptor across its roof. Iron-bars covering pyramid-shaped skylights; a large palm at one end enabling raptor and ellie to ascend the roof; a pool for them to jump into. Only difference is that I made it with a larger, more realistic visitor capacity and a lean-to kitchen extension. The scale is waaaaay off, as with most of these buildings.

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Here's the hotel complex. Largely it's mediteranean style buildings i downloaded, surrounded by vanilla parks and some of my own security fencing (built from scratch). This was to have tennis courts, public swimming pool, chapel, small lake, kitchen-garden for the hotel chef, and a bunch of motel-style rooms.

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The little brown smudges in the grassland are the parasaurs and edmontosaurs allowed to roam freely in the parkland surrounding the hotel. Incidentally: I'm a great fan of canal systems, which feature heavily in my cities, but they always seem massively out of scale when compared with the canals I actually know in the UK. The grass-edged canal seen here was from a french site, and was compatible with the older brick canals, but is now incompatible with much of my set, as well as being limited in use. I tried a while ago to build my own canal set with towpaths and realistic widths, but failed miserably. If anyone wants to have a go at uk-style canals in future...be my guest.

Talking of scale, here's the only screenshot I can find of my dinosaurs. I Lotted all of the dinosaurs from JP:OG (except, of course, for the mutant duck) but now suspect my scale was completely wrong - should they have been larger? Here is a herd of gallimimus. Notice the way I failed to make transparency work and their base is incompatible with the rest of the grass.

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All these buildings were exported at highest quality, though you'd never know it to see them in the game.

Finally, the last shot, of the first section of the park itself. You can see maintenance roads, the thickly forested dilophosaur paddock with its maintenance shed, and a third of the gallimimus paddock. I made a wide variety of maintenance sheds for different dinosaurs. Bit of a waste, really. The perimeter fence looks particularly awful, being only constructable on flat surfaces and connectable at right-angles, with no diagonals.

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So...I know I did abysmally, and I doubt I'll have time to do as large a project in future (I have big disagreements with BAT). Thoughts? Anyone want to make me happy and give the project a third try?

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