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Your real-life city inspirations

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What are your real-life inspirations for starting up in Simcity? I think that if I don't use another layout I seen on Google Maps or elsewhere, I wouldn't be able to continue with the city. Now, I'm still getting a better hang of things and still learning, but I want to know if you have any cities or hometown that inspire you to start.

I grew up near the city of Erie, PA, which is the 4th largest city in Pennsylvania and in the eternally distressed post-industrial rust belt. I don't know if people want to remake or are inspired by smaller cities like that though.

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rust belt cities are the best on sc4 because there's so many rust belt buildings that people have made. I think Erie, PA would be a good town to make cause you'll get known brands on the signage. Remember that people on the west coast don't have the same brands as people on the east coast, so if you have a building with a specific sign painted on the side of it, it will look out of place if you build it in the wrong area.

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My real-life inspirations include Chicago area, Seattle and Minneapolis, (among many others).  I tend to create regions that start as farmland with a scattering of small towns that eventually grow into a metropolitan area.  For me, this seems to create the most realistic regions.

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San Francisco, California USA.

Monterrey, N.L. Mexico.

Hong Kong.

I love large cities with mountains rivers or oceans, cities that are very complex to build, mostly for the hill sides or slopes.

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No doubt cities I have lived in and am most familiar with have had the most influence, hence I will borrow heavily from things I have seen in San Antonio, Austin, San Francisco, and Honolulu.  One of the things I might do inspired by San Antonio is to make a chain of colonial missions with acequias to first civilize and colonize my region.  Of course, these needn't necessarily be Spanish colonial missions made of adobe, and I have no problem upgrading them into grandiose Baroque cathedrals or substituting Asian temples and shrines given all the great BATs out there.

Other cities I admire and romanticize include Vienna, Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Alexandria, Palma de Mallorca, Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuhan, Xian, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Teotihuacan, Babylon, Isfahan, Istanbul, Savannah, Asheville, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and, of course, New York City.  I won't necessarily build recreations of these cities, but I will readily plan for a Ringstraße and a Riverwalk, a Maidan and an Unter den Linden, a Suzakumon and a Waikiki, and a Yamanote loop and a Bund.  Maybe even a few ruined pyramids, ancient kofun, and a Hanging Garden!

When starting out my will cities will be grids, either grids inspired by Austin, grids inspired by Savannah, or full-on grids inspired by Kyoto.  I like regions with tropical or forested mountain ranges framing a broad valley, sprawling bay, or river delta that is then broken up by scores of narrow rivers, creeks, and canals.  Whether the region ultimately becomes a megalopolis sprawl or not, the cities and towns within will lean decidedly urban and rail friendly, as I just can't in good conscience build much suburban highway sprawl.  My industrial areas might be Godzilla scenery run by military-industrial zaibatsu mega-corporations turning the harbors into cesspools, but at least the suburbs will be progressive.

I'm not a fan of modern skyscraper forests, and being a romanticist, I often aim for a prewar, historicist look.  A sea of traditional-tiled roofs sprouting Gothic Revival and Art Deco skyscrapers nestled amidst boulevards with French colonial names is a sexy image.  Prewar Shanghai, Tokyo, and even Saigon come to mind.  Indeed, I sometimes imagine storywise that war is just on the horizon, ready to be triggered by an assassinated archduke or a bomb planted on a remote rail spur in Manchuria, and certain in the end to overturn the old empire.

Admittedly, I can't claim to have fully achieved any or all of that in my cities, but those are the inspirations.


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