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About this City Journal

A city journal tracing the development of Erastide.

Entries in this City Journal


01: Erat - Update 7


Welcome back, dear readers! Today will be a very big update, I'm warning you now! See, we're so far behind in the updates from where I'm actually playing that I want to push through some of these earlier updates (also, there's a noticeable increase in the quality of my city-building skills since I started this, and I want to get to that stuff!) so for the next several updates, expect a faster pace, maybe a little less detail, and way more ground being covered. Let me know what you think of this approach.

Anyway, to get us started, let's take a look at what that little commercial area looks like nowadays:


Ugh, was this really before I got the zebra crossing mod!?

It's getting there! Sooner or later I'm hoping to see some wall-to-wall development here. But, at this time, I don't think I had any in my plugins folder!

And here's where we'll be working today. Looks as though the terraforming crew has already started work for the day!



So, I had this brilliant plan that I would make some one-way roads connecting to the avenue in a nice, smooth transition. Only one problem:


...It doesn't connect!

Meh. Easily solved.


'Scuse me. Just moving a road here. Nothing to see.


THERE we go!

A small suburb just north of the commercial area will fit the bill nicely:


Take special note of how horribly the blazing white sidewalks clash with... everything.

And a little plaza to fill that otherwise awkward triangle created by the avenue. Notice how awesome it would look if the avenue's sidewalks were actually picking up on the whole "medium and high-density zoning" part.


Yep. Those diagonal jaggies sure are beautiful.

Heading back down toward the water, we need an access road for this side of the harbor.


Terraforming for an AVE-2 down to the coastline.


Connecting it up...


Completely useless parallel route? You betcha!

A little extension of the seaside village from the other side.


Those little houses have a gorgeous view...

See that little bit way over on the right? The blank square with nothing in it? It was giving me... problems. Nowadays, I know how to fix it, but at the time I had no idea how. That'll be another tidbit for finalizing the city tile.


While we were building, a suburb popped up!

Here's a little overview of the area. Seems I missed a little and clipped off that brand-new suburb we just built... oops... you can see it peeking out at the top right.


Hum, still a few bare spots to fill in...


Let's start with a hospital! We need one of those.


A little plaza...


...and a little church!


Slowly but surely, this little area is starting to look almost good...

And to wind out this update, a little teaser...


Catch you later, folks!


01: Erat - Update 6


Howdy, folks, and welcome back to Erastide! On today's agenda: Giving seagulls a place to live! Er, well, installing a waterfront boardwalk, at least.

Here's the freshly terraformed sector:



I wonder what'll go here?


This area caused me a whole lot of agony. I'll spare you the pain, and just show you the final terraforming.


Not perfect, but better than what I had before *shudder*.


All nicely terraformed, and ready to go!


And here's where I thought it'd be a good idea to have a seawall of sorts to block the waves. Clever, no?


But, that didn't turn out exactly as I intended. So far, so good, but...


Still doesn't look too bad from here...


Good gracious heavens, no, no, No, NO, NO!

That's hideous! Deformed! Downright UGLY! And it certainly won't do here in Erastide. Let's see, what can we do to fix this?


Attempt No. 1: Jeronij's seawalls.


Attempt No. 2: Scattered rocks.

Ugh. It still looks awful. At this point, though, it's just going to have to stay that way for a while "until I think of something better to do with it". As of now (remembering how far behind these updates are from where I'm playing) I have lots of rocks & boulders from the Rural Renewal Project, so I'll fix it up later. It'll be part of the last round of detailing when I finally polish off Erat.


And as for the rest of it, what else but PEG's Old Wooden Waterfront and Seaport Village! LINKIE


Continuing the canals from the farms above...


A nice little plaza never goes amiss!

The whole area, ready to grow!



It appears I forgot to take a screenshot of the area after it developed. Mea culpa. Instead, I'm proud to present Erastide's very first mosaic!





Not much to brag about, but it's the best we've got at the moment.

See you next time!


01: Erat - Update 5


Welcome back, dear friends! See, I told you it's alive again! On today's agenda, we've got some serious farming action to do. Old MacDonald had a farm, you know...

Er. Ahem. Enough of that, on to the citying! Here's where we'll be working today:



Ugh, those Maxis rural sidewalks! I promise that by this point in time I've done something about that!

Also, some things that are not farms. Like houses. And a police station. Those are useful sometimes.



Here's the area, ready to launch:


...and... GO!


Ugh, how I hate the Pedriana Plant. This one's for the bulldozer.




THERE we go. Much more cozy!

And here's the progress so far...


...which just leaves us with this little strip to take care of:



...More farms and a museum! Ah, what could be better? So serene. So pastoral. So... blah. Let it grow!


Meh. Bulldozer.


That's better! Also I really like tucking some houses into the fields like this. I think it makes it look more authentic, like an actual family's small plot of land.

Maybe Ol' MacDonald really did have a farm!

We'll finish with an overview of everything we've done today:


See you next time, when we'll tackle that lovely little strip of coastline just to the south of all this. As always, comments, questions, suggestions, etc. are welcome!

Take care!


01: Erat - Update 4



Um. I've been... nonexistant. Sorry about that. Complications arose, ensued, were overcome.

Specifically, these complications:

  • I've been insanely busy. I just finished my student teaching (in math and computer science) this semester, so this was my last year at college (I'm gradumacated now!). As you might imagine, it was a little hectic.
  • Erat, as a large city tile, was becoming too full for my computer to handle easily so playing just wasn't all that much fun any more. I kind of stopped playing it until I upgraded my computer - which made absolutely no difference whatsoever. (I really wish SC4 was multi-threaded...) Ah well.
  • You can tell it's been a while because I had to actually look up the date of the last post... July 2011. Right. During July / August of last year I was going through some personal issues and didn't really do much SC4-ing. Well, that's in the past now! Onward!

Enough of that; let's get to the update!

Now let me think. Back in the dark ages of ancient history when I last posted, what were we up to? Oh, yes! We pumped up the jobs count with some heavy industry. Today's job involves trains. And houses. Specifically, here:


Let's get to work!


As usual, terraforming to get a nice flat space to build on.


We've got a bit of (eventually) medium-density residential on the south side, right by the station.

...wait, what station?



Why, this one, of course!

An overview of the zoning and pathways before we let it pop:







...okay, that was a little overexcited. It's really not that special. Just a typical neighborhood. Boring.

We need something (at least marginally) interesting in this update. And I think I know just the ticket...




And what goes here, you ask?



...er, wait...


If you guessed "farms", you get a gold star!

Let's let 'em pop, shall we?


Well, here's the first attempt. Some of them are okay, but others... BOOM!


No, too repetitive...


That's better.


This one needs fixing, too.


There we go. But that jagged edge is simply awful!


Better? Ish? Kind of? At least it's not as obvious. (Disclaimer from the future: I would like to point out that at this time I did not have either the RRP or SPAM installed. I do now, so this type of problem is much less severe these days!)

Well, that's pretty much a wrap for this update. Just an overview left:


Oh, why not. Here's a teaser from something a little more... recent. Ish.


Until next time, then, folks. Which ought to be less of a wait this time. Take care!


01: Erat - Update 3


Welcome back to Erastide, one and all! Wowzers, it's been a while! Sorry about the delay; I recently had a fairly significant project that involved teaching kids that math is actually fun, so my time was a little reduced. And then lately I've been playing TS2 more than SC4... but hey, that's what my buffer is for, eh? Let's dive right in!

When we last were gathered, we saw this section off in the corner just waiting for development!


Also, though I didn't mention it last time, we're in need of industrial jobs to jump-start the population. So guess what's going to go here? (Hint: it isn't a shopping mall...)

Before we can get down to building, we need to do some terraforming:




And here's the general street layout. But I don't like the bottom section. I need that road to stay level instead of going down.





For those who were concerned about not having a fence by the reading area; well, there ya go!


Like any industrial park, we need a train station. I'm trying to engourage train travel over roads as much as possible in this region, so it'll be a much longer route to ship out goods by truck.




Almost there... we've got zoning, pipes, and parking... And some trees to hopefully cut down on the pollution...


POP! Goes the popcorn!

And a final overview to finish off this update!


Still a couple of patches that won't grow, but they'll get there. Next time we'll add in a passenger train station. Granted, it won't actually go anywhere yet. But it will eventually!

Until then; take care, everybody!


01: Erat - Update 2


Welcome back to Erastide! And notice, the pictures are (slightly) fancier now!

Erat is in need of a few more people, so let's attend to that! The area to the west of downtown looks like a suitable space:



Above is the basic street layout. As you can see, we're extending the downtown across the avenue. Because I like walking, there's a walking trail throughout the neighborhood.


Zoning time! And a nice little pond right in the middle.

But that square needs a little attention, so...


Of course! What else would we put there but a plaza with fountains and Poseidon!

In retrospect (I'm running about a 20-update buffer here, so this was a while ago), I'm not too pleased with how this turned out. It bothers me that the texture under old Poseidon doesn't match the sandstone from the sidewalks and small plazas. What do you all think? I'm open to suggestions, as always.

However, we can't let a fountain get us down, and there are other areas that need our attention! Here we have...




...a charming little park, complete with playgrounds, a (small) bike loop, and gazebos!

Now let's see, what should we put here?


How about...


...a nice little community library!


...with parking and quiet reading areas, no less!

A final look at today's work before we let it "pop":




Next time we'll have a look at that intriguing little plot off to the left...

Catch you later, folks!


01: Erat - Update 1


Welcome back, friends! We finally get to see some actual development! Won't be anything too spectacular, but you have to start somewhere, right? Let's hop right to it!

Here's the general layout for the avenues in northern Erat:


See the circle? That's where we'll be starting.


Leveling the coastline for development. This is mainly because I'm OCD and I want my cities to follow certain Rules. (I expect you'll see plenty of evidence of this throughout the CJ.) Anyway, these leveler lots by Peg are really handy; you can get 'em HERE if you don't have them.


Another ridiculously useful terraforming lot! This is the Ground Lifter from smoncrie's Hole Digging Lots. Plop...


...and POP!

Let's move along before this whole CJ turns into an advertisement, shall we?


Well, that didn't take long, did it? Time flies when you're having fun!


Or when you're reading someone else's CJ and didn't have to plop all those accursed roads yourself. :P

Moving ON!



Well hey! Some actual zones! And here you were thinking we'd never get there at this rate! (Or was that just me?)

But houses alone don't make a city, do they? So...


Laying out the Eastern Erat downtown area. I don't expect most of this to grow for a good while, but I'm laying it out now anyway.


And of course, we need power!


Hum... there's something missing here...


AHA! Walking paths!

...except, these look hideous with my sidewalk mod. I love the walkways, but they just don't fit here!

Let's try...


Well, it's not perfect, but it'll do. I guess. There's nothing better in my plugins folder at the moment. Anyone have any bright ideas?

Side note: wondering why there's a street patch missing? That's the result of one of the Linux-related glitches. Basically I can't fight the auto-facing of lots - even if I rotate 'em, they turn back to the road when I click. I'm used to it by now, and it's still better than going back to Windoze. But let me tell you, it sure is a pain when I'm making some intricate transit interchange with dozens of NAM pieces and suddenly realize I have to bulldoze THE WHOLE THING in order to decorate it.

But wouldn't it be more sensible to just plop the decorations first?

Yes. Yes it would. And someday I'll learn to actually do it.


Here's the area, ready to grow! It's that tense moment just before we pop the popcorn...



Ladies and gentlemen...

I give you...


Voilà! The first development in Erastide!

(Okay, that lead-up was way more dramatic than it needed to be. Sorry about that. I'd promise not to do it again, but I don't like to make promises I won't keep. :P)

Let's wrap up the day with a little overview of the development so far, shall we?


Not much, eh? But Rome wasn't built in a day, and Erastide won't be either.

Until next time, take care folks!



Ha! And you thought I'd be starting down in Riva, didn't you? Y'know, the biggest city (or what will be) on the map? Nope. See, I don't trust either my city building skills or my plugins folder enough yet to tackle Riva, since I want it to be spectacular. That, and my plan was to work around it first to build up demand. Although that's kind of a moot point now, since I ended up using the Super Demand Mod. (Erastide is an artistic region, so I'm not much concerned about money or other mundane things like that. I'm more concerned with making it look nice.)


In The Belgariad, Erat is a small town in the nation of Sendaria, midway between Medalia and Darine. It was once a part of Arendia, but split off to create part of the new kingdom of Sendaria in the Arendish Civil War. Garion's Aunt Pol sometimes uses the title Duchess of Erat when she needs a disguise.


Map stolen borrowed from the David Eddings Wiki:



Shall we take a look at the bare land?


Click here for a larger image

Wait, that land isn't bare! It has stuff on it! Yep, those are the beginnings of the main transportation networks. And don't worry about the Maxis highway - it will be replaced with RHW as we start developing that area. It's just there to lay out the network for now.

In our region of Erastide, Erat will be a small, mostly rural town. The commercial and residential areas will be concentrated along the northern edge, mostly low density but with some medium. South of the creek will be farmland, but the very southern edge will be just the beginnings of the suburbs for Riva.

That's all for this post, but I'll have the first update for Erat out very soon (just as soon as I finish assembling it) with actual development! So in the meantime, here's another teaser for you:


Catch you later!


Welcome to Erastide


Welcome, friends, and a Joyous Erastide to you all!

Question: What the heck is Erastide?

Answer: Ever heard of David Eddings? He's an author. He wrote a series of books, The Belgariad, and its sequel series, The Mallorean, which happen to be favorites of mine. In his world, Erastide is a holiday celebrated in midwinter. It celebrates the creation of the world by the seven Gods. Where we might say "Merry Christmas", or "Happy Hanukkah", or whatever tickles your fancy, they say "Joyous Erastide".

The cities in this region will be named after places in the Belgariad and the Mallorean. Since Eddings doesn't seem to have a specific name for his fantasy world, the name of the holiday commemorating its creation seemed appropriate for a region name. (No, this isn't a medieval-themed region, I just needed a source for names, because I fail at them.)

Let's jump right in, shall we?

We'll be building on the Kettlewood region by NHP. Here's a map:


As you can see, it has lots of rivers, flat spaces for building, low hills, mountains, valleys, coastline, and two excellent harbors. All my favorite features rolled into one! I'm planning a nice mix of big cities, small towns, suburbs, farms, forests, and wilderness. And trains. Lots of trains.

Here's an in-game shot of the bare region in all its Terraformer-color glory, since I haven't gone through the map to load and save every city yet.


And here's what I plan to do with it. Note that this is a very tentative map - things can and probably will change from here.

RED: Railroad

PURPLE: High-Speed Rail (Monorail)

ORANGE: Highways


FYI about me:

I play SimCity 4... intermittently. So if I disappear for months at a time, don't despair! Erastide will return! My computer game interests go through cycles. So if you don't hear from me for ages, I've probably temporarily lost interest in SC4 and I'm playing The Sims 2, or Age of Empires II, or Oblivion, or something else. I'll be back.

As a head's up, I play SC4 on Linux (Ubuntu, specifically), because:

a) I hate Windows

b) It runs better

As a side-effect, though, I have a few graphical glitches every now and then. So please pardon the occasional oddities, specifically in automata. There's really nothing I can do about it, other than go back to playing in Windoze, and I am NOT doing that!

Also, sometimes on the internet I go by the name "The Trippmeister", so that applies to me as well. The only reason that isn't my username here is because I started playing SC4 only a couple months before I started using that name and discarded "Alafel". Sigh...

NOTE: You can also read this CJ/MD in the SC4D MD section, if so your heart desires:


Well, that's enough chit-chat, wouldn't you say? Join us for the ride... the ride through Erastide. (Tee-hee! I made a rhyme!)

I'll leave you with a teaser, which you won't see again for at least a dozen updates:



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