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Project Introduction

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Hi everybody! I'm starting an impossible project to build a town I am very familiar with - Tempe, AZ.

Yes, I want to start by admitting it is essentially impossible to meet my own requirements, but that's partially why I chose it. First, I definitely wanted something with rigid guidelines--I think accurately recreating reality is probably one of the most rigid guidelines available in a simulation. I also wanted something that would expose me to a wide variety of custom content creation, and I think I will easily get the chance to BAT, lot, and mod all kinds of plugins with the region chosen. Most importantly though, I wanted to work on something that I could obviously not finish. Otherwise I might get too obsessed with getting it completed, or too overwhelmed and unwilling to admit defeat. This way I can just let it go, and move on to other things as necessary, or just as easily drift back into the project and add a little bit after a period of dormancy.

That being said, this isn't a throwaway project either. If you'd ask me five years ago if I'd miss this place when I was gone, I'd give a quick "no," but here, on the eve of my departure, I find myself seeing good qualities in so many places and feeling oddly nostalgic.

Before anyone gets all weepy-eyed though, let's look at a quick rundown.

The first region I'd like to work (and the one for which I'd like the highest accuracy) is the main campus of Arizona State University and downtown Tempe. I worked a long time on scaling the tiles against the map until I got something that I liked, matched roads decently, and felt reasonably accurate. And what do you know, it turned out to be quite close... the width of this part of town is around .85 miles and it was 88 tiles, which is roughly .88 miles. Perfect!


(click for larger)

Google Maps view


(click for larger)

Dark gray represents avenues, light gray represents streets and roads, dark green represents GLR/GLR-in-road, and peach areas are pedmalls. The numbered blue rectangles are the lot shadows of buildings I'm considering, and the magenta outlines are network pieces I'd like to do. I've chosen potential BATs based on uniqueness of architecture, difficulty of creation, and utility in other situations. I think most of the buildings could be rebranded as RCI lots in other people's cities, assuming my work ends up good enough for public consumption.

Next time I'll look into some of the buildings I've selected, show current screens of the city, and demonstrate my first work-in-progress.

Thanks for reading!

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I just graduated from ASU's Urban Planning program (Master of Urban Planning). I look forward to seeing more of this. Good luck!

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