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The Marantoa Commonwealth (part 8: National flag and university!)

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OOC: Got the game today and decided to jump right in with a city journal so you can see the mistakes I make and successes I have playing with the inhabitants of the fictional Marantoa Commonwealth, starting from the ground up.

Below we take a look at the first city of the new civilization using the Island map (can't remember the name at the moment). The region is set to private and isn't a sandbox game so anyway lets jump into the journal.





The Marantoa Commonwealth


Welcome one and all to the Marantoa Commonwealth. Currently several small islands here on Smearth, join us as we continue to grow and hopefully thrive as a nation!



National Flag

(introduced in the 8th update)



Part 1: Captain, I think we've ran aground

Welcome all to the Marantoa Islands, home to the recently formed Marantoa principality. Formed after the ship we'd been exploring in ran into some trouble and grounded itself on the large island of what is now known as the Marantoa Island's the captian, a descendent from the royal line of Kilkirk, quickly announced that they would form a new colony, with him leading the way, as his royal blood decreed.

Ever loyal and abiding to those of royal blood, no matter how little of it there may be, the crew and passengers aboard the ship quickly got to work on the first settlement, Newport. Founded where the ship crashed, due mostly to the that the captian was impatient to start building.

Only there was one rather big problem. The ship had lost its civil planning official in the grounding of the ship. As such the small community doesn't reveal have a defined shape. Hopefully someone can step up tot he job soon before the town becomes a right mess but for now, as you'll see below, the sims of Marantoa, are happy to build wherever they please, their king, and former captain, Frederick Maratoa happy to sit back and watch them do his bidding.

Anyway enough blabbering here's some actual pictures of Newport.

Initial construction along the newly laid road (the ship had lots of random building supplies on it apparently).


Housing sprung up everywhere just off the main street.


Some civic sensibilities did shine through from our budding civil planners (one of which is me apparently) when they decreed that only commercial should be constructed on the street. Also at the end you can see The Most Royal Palace of Frederic Maratoa which also holds most of the administration offices.


A wind farm, constructed form one of the ships propellers (the other one is being salvaged as we speak), form the power for the settlement. You can also smell the lovely aromatic smell of a sewage overflow pipe in the distance. We do have fresh water too, but it's kept away from the lovely smelling sewage at the entrance of the town.


Several factories provide jobs for the Maratoans and also help to alleviate some of the problems of the dwindling resources from the stripped ship.


Finally a overview of Newport taken from His Most Royal Highness's helicopter, that miraculously survived the crash. As you can see perfect planning.


Anyway I've got to dash now, apparently our king has just declared a emergency meeting. Apparently something to do with donuts. Should be ummmm, interesting.

I'll be back soon though to detail more of the hopeful growth of the town (providing his royal highness doesn't do anything to stupid).

Till then

Craig Harwood, Emergency city planner, civic engineer, sanitation official, housing ordinance and Political Correspondent to His mos.... screw this I've got to get going.



OOC: hope you enjoy this new city journal and follow along with King Frederic and the Marantoans exploits.

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    SomewhereSim: Thanks, I'm glad your enjoying them and that you liked the overview. Hope you continue to enjoy them as we progress!


    B-more4: Thanks and please do check in again. Always nice to here from you guys. 




    Part 2: Growing bribery

    Right, I've finally managed to get enough time away from our lovely king to bring you all some more photos on the continued growth of our town. Last time we left off I was mentioning the problems we were going to face with the whole city layout. Well we finally went ahead and tried to get a more permanent look to the city. Below are some pictures of how this went

    Firstly we decided to tackle our growing employment crisis. Apparently Maratoans were getting bored of counting the blades of grass outside their trailer homes and wanted to actually go to work. With this in mind we introduced plots for over double what we had before hand.

    Lots of factories!


    This then led to angry factory owners over having not enough workers, so more housing was introduced and some of the dirt roads were upgraded. This meant that many citizens lost their trailer homes as our wise king bulldozed everything in his way, apparently unaware that he could just move the mobile homes out of the way of the street pavers.

    This in turn, led to a rather large angry mob forming outside the Palace and a pretty nervous King, who, upon spotting several kids playing with a ball on the beach, announced to everyone that Beach Volleyball was to the Maratoan national sport and the 2nd Monday of every 2nd month was to be a national holiday to play Beach Volleyball.

    This amazingly worked and the now happy Maratoans left to quickly rebuild their homes and discuss the formation of teams for the upcoming Beach Volleyball games (apparently the Leaping Llama's are favorites at the time of writing, but personally, I like the the Maratoan Minotaurs). The King then commissioned three Volleyball courts to be set up on the beach just off the commercial centre of the town and went back to his Kingly duties.

    In one swift move he'd created the Marantoans first national holiday Volladay, and appeased his angry subjects.

    Beachside volleyball courts.


    So, with happy subjects and jobs for everyone the small town soon grew and people could afford to improve their housing leading to house like these replacing the trailer homes.


    With a growing population we soon needed more services so the ships doctor set up a clinic to help the sick Maratoans, whilst a group of brave citizens built a firehouse for the city. Also you can see the King commissioned the growth of his Palace in recognition of the township reaching 5000 people.


    Rather luckily too, as apparently some silly Maratoans had been practicing volleyball in their tiny trailer home and had hit the stove, starting a fire that thankfully, only burned down the one trailer before the brave firefighters got it under control.


    Finally another overview of the growing town showing the new roads. Although its not looking as messy, its still not exactly the most well planned place on Smearth (OOC: the planet my sims live on).


    Anyway thats all for this small update. The Maratoan Minotaurs are practicing at the beach so I'm going head down and see how they're doing.

    Till next time.

    Craig Harwood a man of many titles.


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    B-more4: Thanks and I'm glad your finding it entertaining. it was fun coming up with the rather silly back-story for the incompetent King and his minions (at least Craig seems to have some sense). Well having it decreed as the national sport did help but hey it might appease your citizens.



    videodroner: Thanks, I'm not the best at taking good photos so I'm glad your enjoying them. Glad your liking the overview shot's too though the layout isn't without it's problems as your about to find out.




    Part 3: Growing Pains and Brains!

    Right well its been a little while since I last showed you some pictures of Newport (OOC: in character that is). The town has grown a bit since last time and is beginning to run into a few problems. I'll talk you through it as we look at the pictures though, what with a picture apparently being worth 1000 words and all.

    Well we start off just after we left last time. People were complaining about vigilante justice or something so we got them a police station so they could be vigilantes legally.


    We were then introduced to a problem we'd foreseen back in part 1. The ugly traffic monster. Currently were busy repaving all of the streets we can to help the traffic but even high density streets are no match for the removal man (or so it would seem).


    Then came the great zombie scare, where apparently, in the dead of night a incredibly sick person decided to eat some poor Maratoans brains. Apparently the entire police force and the shop full of Maratoans couldn't stop the single bloody crazed zombie and three people lost their lives that night, apparently crumbling as the sun came up.

    Needless to say the citizens weren't to happy and started petitioning for a bigger police station. An emergency meeting was held and a new excuse to expand the pala... I mean Department Of Safety was built and out of it came....


    This hospi... Wait I think we screwed up here guys, didn't they want more Police? Oh well I suppose it stopped the zombies.


    Anyway despite the protests continuing due to the slight cock-up, expansion continued and we soon had our first highrise, and it was full of rich Maratoans. Apparently they've turned the first few floors into a high security checkpoint, just in case the zombies do return.


    Though during all this we haven't forgot to majority of the sims who still cling dearly to their trailer homes despite the expansion and a trailer homes lack of zombie protection.

    We also made the discovery that Volleyball could be played off the beach in the neighborhood too. This groundbreaking discovery has led to many new courts popping up all over the city, so that  the local teams can practice their favourite pastime easily rather than fighting over the few courts that were available.


    Finally as usual a overview of the city at the moment.


    This shows both the problem were going to have with the traffic due to the roads and the fact that were running out of space. People also need more jobs but the King joined the protestors himself when we mentioned expanding the industrial area. They were still pretesting for more Police but hey, I'm not entirely sure the King cared or even realised despite the banners.

    On top of this, the accidental Hospital construction is draining the cities income by a hell of a lot and so, it was with great pomp and circumstance the the King sent out two brave groups of prospectors to see if there was anything worth digging for on the islands. Many tears were shed over the fact that the brave men and women would not be able to participate in the bi-monthly Beachball Championships but off they went.

    Will they find anything?

    Do you think the King should attend the local school?

    Will the Merry Miners beachball team suffer to much, away from their sport?

    Find out next time (or probably not), as we return to the Maratoa Island's.

    Till then

    Craig Harwood, you know the drill.

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  • Part 4: Shock and Ore in Belton

    Right well today we have something a bit different for you than the normal look at Newport. Instead today were going to be taking a look at Belton our newest town here on the Maratoa Island's.

    Set up after the group of intrepid explorers the had set out at the end of the last part found vast deposits of in the ground above a bay. north of Newport. Unfortunately the  miners couldn't decide on which deposit to mine first. This got so bad that half of them left the area to look for other minerals on the islands, intent on being more production than the remaining ore miners.

    Here's some pictures of the region as well as the ore deposits. You can see Newport in the distance.



    So, with the other miners out of the way the remaining ones started laying down the foundations of what would hopefully become a successful mining town. Learning from the mistakes that Newport had made with its roads, the planners this time laid down a much wider road winding around the region to help with the eventual traffic issues that would no doubt spring up.

    Shortly afterwards this winding road and initial zoning and housing gave the small town its name. Bet you can't guess why.


    Of course the area wouldn't have been at all worthwhile without this, its first mine. This building and resulting trade from the raw ore is what led to the economy booming and has made most of the money for the town.

    Here you can see the initial mine set up, next to the trade depot.


    Anyway fast forward a few months and you can see from the pictures below that the area has grow by a lot. Volleyball has once again begun being practised by the teams in the region, with the most successful, the Belton Beavers, regularly commuting to Newport to take on the Leaping Llamas their, most successful team (the Maratoan Minotaurs unfortunately aren't doing all that well since the loss of their star player in that zombie attack mentioned last part).

    the mine has grown and a department of utilities has been built to handle the growing requests for water and sanitation in the heavily industrialized town.

    Below are some pictures of where we stand at the moment in Belton.

    Row-houses springing up next to old grandma's shack.


    The ore mine as it stands today, surrounded by large factories.


    A view of the lovely smelling industrial sector of the town. This town's industry far outpaces Newport's.


    Finally the ever present overview. Now despite the town being planned a bit better than Newport, I've still no idea what is with the crop circle like housing estates around the main housing area. I suppose it was to save space but I'm not sure. Also you can see that they plan on heading south into the bay next, with the winding road already built down there to form the connection.

    Current state of the town.


    Anyway that's all for now. Next time we'll either return to see how Belton has grown or visit the other group of miners and see how their getting on.

    Till then.

    Craig Harwood, you know the drill.


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    Benedict: Thanks lol, I enjoy coming up withe the over the top crazy storyline so I'm glad its paying off.


    Ln X: Thanks,the road layouts were pretty crazy and not at all optimal in either of the towns, which suited me down to tthe ground and I doubt the king was to bothered either.





    Part 4: Hot deals in Coalton!

    Right I have a very interesting update here. Well ok interesting if you like destruction, however if you aren't a fan of destruction then I would skip this update but who am I trying to kid, everyone's a fan of random destruction.

    Anyway it all starts off with the other band of intrepid miners who, after leaving the ore miners, found a rich deposit of coal on the other island in the small chain. Although further away from Newport than Belton the miners didn't care and got to work, trying to out do their rivals.

    The initial city area and coal map.



    Anyway the miners wasted no time setting up their small town, apparently going with a much more standard block layout to their roads (though they didn't manage to do it very straight I have to say). Boring but seemingly more effective than the circular design.


    Anyway the city grew and the small coal mine expanded with quickly to take advantage of the minerals.


    Space also became a bit tight as you can see with these houses built right in front of the mining shafts.


    As you can see they also choose coal power in the region rather than the other two towns which were using woind. It was dirty but much more effective at supplying power.  In fact everything was coal powered in the town and even the Merry Miners volleyball team adopted a oddly shaped piece of coal as their mascot, Coaly.

    Having poured all the money into expanding the coal mine rather than public services the mine was really bringing in the money.

    Which had very bad consequences when this happened.


    Very very bad as the new fire fighters struggled to use the hose properly let alone put the fire out.


    They did however manage to get it under control in the end though. However the CBD of the small town definitely suffered a little. Talk about hot deals.


    The town did recover after a while though, and many new public buildings (and volleyball courts) were set up to prevent a disaster like this one happening again. In the after investigation by the newly appointed fire marshal of Coalton, it turned out that the intense testing of the latest craze in Coalton, fireplaces made out of coal, hadn't included actually making a fire in one and thanks to this, the Jones residence were completely surprised when their new fireplace went up in flames. As such they were acquitted of any responsibility and the companies testing official was fired.

    Anyway enough talking about that flaming disaster, here is the overview of the town, all rebuilt and shiny (well as shiny as you can be in a town obsessed with coal), in all its square glory.


    Anyway that's all for now. Next time I've no idea where we'll be but hey, That makes it more interesting right?

    till then

    Craig Harwood


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  • Part 5: Belting upwards in Belton!

    Right today we head back to Belton where the expansion has been pretty significant. We left of last time with the Beltonians laying a road down into what is now known as Belton Bay. These two photo's show you what that area looks like now. You can also see the Belton Metal HQ here as well, built to manage the increasing Ore mining operations in the growing town, what with there now being two mines and all.

    Belton Bay looking right from the winding middle connection road. Mainly residential this side (and the obligatory volleyball courts).


    Belton Bay looking left from the same place, the Metal HQ in amongst the commercial area of the bay.


    The centre of Belton's current main town area is also growing higher rapidly as, with this town being the most populated on the islands many businesses wan't a piece of the area.

    Here's a low level construction shot of the first high rise commercial building going up.


    The King also decided to visit the expansion more through me pestering than any actual want, he would rather have been watching his favourite and personal volleyball team practise, the Royal Raccoon's. While here though he demanded that the area was given a bit of a spruce up to try and hide some of the industries impact on it. He also decided to have a residence built high up on one of the cliffs overlooking most of Belton. From this house you can get some good views of the area expanding so that's what I did, the photo's shown below in order of taking them, showing the area growing and more trees and parks springing up in compliance with the Kings orders.




    Finally for now here's the overview of Belton as it currently stands. A lot bigger than the last time we looked at it.


    Next time we'll probably head back to Coalton, I've heard that they've been spying on Belton's growth and have big plans of their own to try and make their town as successful.

    Till then

    Craig Harwood


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  • Part 6: Coalton Cove

    Just a small update today regarding the expansion of Coalton. Having witnessed their rivals in Belton forge ahead and build the town into a small city, Coalton was keen to catch up, including their own shoreside development, though of course not a bay but a cove.

    As you can see from the below picture they had a much easier time getting roads down to their cove, what with the covergence point and single avenue down to the cove. They also wasted no time in laying down the road network for the area and zoned it to begin bringing more people into the town.

    The zoned area and cove roadwork.


    This worked with more people spilling into the town and soon another new mine had opened to take advantage of the increased population and more workers. This led to more developments and, wanting to break away from the high density squares this small suburb, filled with curvy roads (and severakl Volleyball courts) sprung up at the entrance to the town.

    Suburbs ready to grow.


    After sending out the town mascot Coaly, to spy on their rivals they noticed the high land value and much wanted hilltop housing estates in Belton. Not wanting to be outdone they zoned their own area onto of the hill overlooking the main town. Even having a house constructed for the King up there (without having to be asked unlike Belton).

    Here's the initial zoning.


    Expansion then took off as the central area became more dense with housing and offices.


    They also then, learning from Belton's mistakes begun beautifying the area to further curry favour with the KIng. This whole I'm better than you' attitude spiralled out of control when the, now large, town, built a College for its citizens and the rest of the Marantoan Islands (though there was plenty of the appropriate Coalton rules and Belton drools slogans around for the benfit of the Belton students'

    The College on the outskirts of town.


    That's all for now. There talk of a new city being planned but nothing official yet.

    Anyway here's the obligatory overview before I forget and I'll see you next time.


    Till then.

    Craig Harwood


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    Jimmy Buzaid: Thanks, sorry the latest update took so long.




    Part 7: Maraton

    Hey guys and welcome to our new town. Ordered by our glorious King on account of the fact that Newport was designed by a monkey with a crayon (in fact this may be true given that the King has a pet monkey called Cuddles but anyway). as such the town was beginning to become a bit of a mess and the traffic was getting worse. As a solution to this problem the king built a new city.

    Hey it works.

    In steps Maraton, the new capital city of the Marantoa Island's. Built in the centre of the islands, the king has decreed that no industry would be allowed to build in the town so instead its become the centre of population for the islands, with commercial to provide jobs and shopping for his Royal Highness.

    Below are some pictures from the development of Maraton.

    Firstly the inital zoning. As you can see we used an avenue right from the get go here instead only using roads, preparing for what will hopefully be a large bustling city rather than a large stuttering town like Newport.

    As you can see its a lot more square than Newport.



    Now I've got a series of growth pictures from the city as it expanded.







    At this point we got a very special visit. Apparently some little green men had taken an interest in the city and our volleyball expertise. Such an interest in fact that they've abducted one of our star players, well ok that might be a lie, but he was a member of the royal team and as such the King isn't best pleased. At the moment there's talk about going searching for him and the King has even had his eyes on a area to get a rocket set up to try and get his player Geoff 'bouncey' Stores back.

    Unfourtunately the same area is also the proposed sight of a airport to link the islands to the outside world so there may be some heated discussion regarding that.

    In the meantime here's an image of the aliens abducting the player.



    Anyway that's all for now.

    Will Geoff ever see a volleyball again?

    Will the commercial representative take flight?

    Will either of these things actually get anywhere?

    Find out soon as you join me again in the Marantoa islands.

    Oh and before we go here's the overview of the new city.



    Till then.

    Craig Harwood


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    Benedict: Thank, I'm enjoying the freedom with the road tool especially with winding suburb neighbourhoods. I agree with the starship comment though didn't see it until you pointed it out.





    Part 8: University of Unknowing

    Right well today were back in Maraton where we've been expanding by quite a bit. These images were taken as the town expanded to become a city. As for the previous argument about what the set aside space will be used for, it seems to be edging towards the airport at the moment but given that the King is prone to pass rather ummm, interesting laws and rulings that may change. Anyway back to Maraton.

    where we left off the city was just beginning to go vertical. Well the KIng decided that the the high rise growth should be limited to the central area of the town, mainly due to the fact that he had a penthouse suite at the top of the tallest residential building and, seeing as this was situated in the centre of the city, didn't want his views being completely blocked.

    This led to the creation of these winding suburbs, much more reminiscent of Newport, around the outside of the city, giving it a stepped feel and making it not so much of a eyesore, compared to high rises everywhere. Here are some images of these sprawling suburbs (complete of course with Volleyball courts).

    Suburbs on the right hand side of the city. Winding streets and volleyball!



    Same suburb looking back in at the city centre, from house to high rise.



    This is the left hand sides suburbs. Lots of nice houses here.



    It's not all fun and games in the Maraton suburbs though, apparently, not content with abducting the royal volleyball temas star player, mother nature threw a Tornado at us as well. I only think there was a few deaths from it though (and no volleyball players this time) but a nice part of the suburb was ripped up.

    Here's a photo of the Tornado taken by a Maraton citizen. Scary stuff!



    Other development took off with the completion of the suburbs, this time skywards due to the lack of any room not currently cordoned off by the King and his officials. Apparently a number of businessman found a loop hole in the high rise development clause (apparently the King accidentally typed denied into this sentence 'No further high rise building will be denied in Maraton City' instead of approved), and had a field day getting permits to build high rises.

    As the next couple of photos prove, they went a bit crazy passing the plans as the King frantically tried to change the clause.

    high rise development in the city centre.



    major growth on the left side of the centre of town.



    Once these had finished and the King had managed to acquire the top floor of the new highest high rise in the city as his penthouse, he finally announced the plans for the large swathe of land he'd forbidden building in.

    The University Of Marantoa.



    Not exactly the biggest university in the world, the main seat of learning for the Marantoa Island's was built. Featuring a school of Business and Science and several residences for the students, this place soon became the focus of the city, pumping out educated Marantoan's to go out and help the fledgling nation.

    One of the most important things to come out of the university was a national flag. Designed to the specifications of the KIng (Monkey and volleyball were all the royal mail said), this new flag was greatly approved of by his royal highness and was quickly seen flying from the roof of Maraton's City Hall (well ok, as quickly as it took to clean the monkey dung that Cuddles flung at it as a sign of appreciation, further cementing the Marantoa Island's as a nation on Smearth.

    National flag.



    The university however, really put a strain on the cities income and seeing as it was technically owned by the King, he needed a new source of income ot support it quickly. Fourtunately royal prospectors have found vast depostis of Oil on the Islands. A bonus side effect should be providing jobs for the residents of Maraton that seem to be having trouble finding one.

    Looks like a drilling we shall go next time then.

    For now however here's the current overview for the city of Maraton (interestingly enough this city holds 2/3rds of the the islands population at just over 100k.)



    Till then

    Craig Harwood.


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