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Ring of Fire

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About this City Journal

Somewhere on the shores of the Great Sea lies a strip of land between the mountains of fire and the vast Ocean of Storms. Surrounded by great forces of destruction clothed in natural beauty a small nation thrives.

Entries in this City Journal


60. Coastal Waterfalls


60. Coastal Waterfalls

Welcome back, folks. This time we head to the coastal road (highway 1) running north of town.

1. Houses and farms on the north side of town


2. More houses and a farm to the north. Traveling further we find the forest coming all the way down to the shore.


3. Highway 1 crosses several small creeks falling off the surrounding hills.


4. The first creek


5. The second has a little fancier bridge


6. The third one adjoins a marshy estuary.


7. The marsh


8. After the estuary is a line of shore cliffs with homes on the top.


9. Time on the beach.


10. The marsh and area in fall.


11. And the tile in full.


I'm not sure what i'll have next since i have a lot of half complete stuff, so it will probably be at least 2 weeks before the next update.



@SylvioGeorge, mymyjp, sexysark, JP Schriefer, Militant Radical, NeilsC007, dabadon5: Thanks a lot for your comments!

@LnX: lol no you don't. I really did a terrible job on that one: i got frustrated with it and didn't finish it. If you really want to see it there is a pic on this CJ at simpeg, top of page 41.

@slickbg: thanks! i just copy what i see on the coasts here. I think a lot of it has to do with the piles of driftwood tossed up at the stormline just above high tide mark. I don't see that in a lot of sc4 beaches.

@jmsepe: The terrain is Gobias' sunken valley, along with his Vancouver Island beach mod and Inside Passage water mod, with my own custom tweaking of the water alpha using reader. All are available on the LEX.

@Kisa Atsuko: I have 8Gigs of ram, a 64bit OS, and the memory patch applied to sc4, and this is near to the maximum my PC can handle. With those specs it can fully run a 96x120km region (this is 88x120). The max i've gotten it to actually open is 112x120, but at that size it barely runs. I doubt 6 gigs of ram or less would actually run this region.

@sucram17: lol i love that .gif

@indecisive_compulsive: all my cities are functional (they have to be to get residentials to grow). I don't use any 'cheats' per se, but i use a heavy variety of mods that effect gameplay in ways that some people would probably consider 'cheating'. Some of these are somewhat neccessary since maxis never finished out and balanced some aspects of the gameplay, such as farm behavior and traffic. That said, 'cheating' if i had to wouldn't bother me at all, because after you've played this game long enough you've already beaten ever aspect of the simulator. At that point the simulation becomes largely irrelevant, because you've been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Then the game just becomes a tool for creating art, and how you modify that tool once you've mastered it doesn't detract from what you create.

@whiteyboybob: Thank you! Yeah, i know about the farms. The thing is these tiles are very quick filler tiles to start off demand in my region, meaning i only spend a few hours on each just to get it done quickly. If it were a more detailed tile, like inner cities and ports where i spend 20+ hours on it i would take care of all those little realism details. Since these last few updates have been from filler tiles im content to just take whatever grows.



59. Sunset Coast - More Nehalum

Welcome back everyone! This time we return to the Nehalum River area for a grab bag of miscellaneous shots. Not much special or different than last time here; it's pretty much a cleanup of the area.

1. A little bit of coastal living.


2. Small town setup


3. Not the straightest streets


4. More


5. Some of the older buildings in town


6. The river in summer


7. And in fall


8. Night activities at the school


9. Sleepy town at night.


10. And finally a small mosaic of the coast south of town.


Next time we'll visit the tile north of town. I have a feeling you'll like it.



Wow, 20 comments after being inactive for so long; you guys are great.

@sexysark, aysk8er, Ln X, mymyjp, feeroz123, neilsc007, kinotto, dabadon5, coolwiththecool2, Sylvio Jorge, anytownUSA, Neto Dari, Paulobergonci, Prophet42: Thanks a lot to all of you for your kind words; they're really appreciated!

@Kisa Atsuko: I will be amazed if anyone every finishes this region out, lol. That said, Haljackey is taking quite the stab at it.

@47ply: Can't wait to see what you come up with.

@towerdude: Thanks! I love what you're doing with Asianess btw; deconstructing the root factors of urban development.

@juliok: There's a simple variable in the terrain mod you can just tweak with reader. See my tutorial here for instructions.

@packersfan: Thanks a lot! I look forward to seeing more of that FAR in Wenzel, too. :P

@marsh: Thank you, sir!



58. Sunset Coast - Nehalum River

*puffffffffff* /blows dust off

*cough* *cough* *hack* *cough*


Alrighty then.

Let's call it like it is: 2014 sucked. :rofl: Now that that crap excuse for a year is out of the way, let's start this one off a little better and post some stuff. As you may have noticed, i finished my final map, named after this CJ, and uploaded it some time ago.

I know i've got it around here somewhere.... ah yes.


This is likely to be the last map i'll ever use, as i designed it to have a little bit of everything. And it's so flippin huge it's impossible to finish. Maybe.

But anyways we're going to start out in the very bottom left corner of it.


Yes, that's really the population of the region right now. And yes, that's especially pathetic considering i started working on this map when i finished it (about 11 months ago) well before i released it. Such a fantastic year last year was. Despite the population i've got more than what you see here done; i've been laying out the transit networks of the urban center and rendering and treeing some large sections.

But we were talking about the pacific coast. The Sunset Coast, and this time we're focusing on the city of Nehalum, where the Nehalum River drains into the vast Sea of Storms.


The Nehalum River itself is pretty small. It's merely a small drainage flowing down from the Windward Hills, like all the other rivers along this stretch of coast.


The River is only a dozen or so miles long, and the length of the valley that's flat is farmed just like the coastline.


The city of Nehalum isn't especially notable for anything. Although it is the largest town south of Half Moon Bay, the reason for it's existence is solely that it was a very desirable location to the early settlers, being on a small flat of land high enough above the sea to provide a nice view (and be safe from tsunamis) and it had a constant supply of fresh water flowing through.


The modern town is pretty typical.


As is the surrounding coastal areas. Just a quiet place to live and work next to the sea, without the modern distractions of a huge metropolis.


And when summer turns to fall the native folliage turns spectacularly.


It's like that all along the coast.


As anyone who lives along this stretch of the sea will tell you; august may be the tourist season, but sunny beach days in september are to die for.


Hwy 1 along the coast crossing the Nehalum River through town.


And that's the city of Nehalum, along the Sunset Coast of the Ring of Fire.


So welcome back everyone. Not sure what i'm going to do next, but we'll have to make sure it comes a lot quicker than this one did.




57: Origin Story: The first year.

/blows the dust off.

So i decided to do a little string of updates with Banished. This isn't some big flashy 'look at my city!' It's just a little zen story because Banished is a little zen game.


The Ring of Fire, Origins:

A thousand years ago humanity spread out from the densely populated established nations into the open wildernesses of the colder north. A group of five families fleeing the oppression of a corrupt country banded together. Pooling their resources they commissioned a small ship and sailed north through the sea of storms. Amongst the snow-capped mountains they found a meandering river with a nice wide valley. After a bit of exploration they came across a small clearing with suitable conditions. It was decided: they'd settle here.

Beaching their ship they unloaded their supplies. They quickly dismantled their boat and used it to build a single barn where they stored their provisions.


It was still early enough in spring to plant crops. The first priority for the settlers was break ground in the clearing and use it to plant their crops.


Once the crops were planted it was time to start clearing off the surrounding land. It was hard work. The deer were friendly (and looked delicious).


As spring turned into summer the settlers used the spoils of the land to build houses. Sleeping on the floor of the barn was undoubtedly getting old. No written records from this time tell us exactly who snored in the barn at night, but the topic was a subject of much debate and not a little family feud in those early years.


The early settlers brought beans and potatoes with them. This was a wise choice since beans are such an early crop, and potatoes last all through the winter.


To have an additional food source the settlers resorted to hunting. The deer in the area were not exactly skittish, which made for easy kills.


Although the initial settlement was made in a clearing off the main river, the plan for later expansion was to work back towards the river.


It was a hard first year. Much of it was spent sleeping on the ground hungry. But they got that first crop in before the winter snows hit, and everyone had a roof with a fireplace to stave off the cold and rain.



There wasn't a lot to do that winter, so the early settlers plotted out the further expansion of the town in years to follow. The footprints of houses to come were scryed out, and more land was broken for farming.


Soon enough spring broke and the winter snows melted away. The settlers had survived the first year.


And that was year one for the settlers.

Not sure how long i'll take this or where it will go, but we're off to a start.


@47ply. Hopefully the readme answered your question.

@47ply, timmie, schriefer, gugu3, shoko, simcoug, Benedict: Thanks for all your kind words: it's really appreciated. :D



56. Cascadia Tree Controller

Hello everyone! At long last the Cascadia tree controller is upon us. It was uploaded earlier today to the PLEX, and shortly i will have it up on the as well (will insert link here when i get it up).

Whereas my first tree controller was more of a 'light' version, this one is a heavy monster. It contains 38 brushes, a lot of HD-ness, and eats PC performance for lunch.

Flora includes lowland deciduous forests, mixed conifer/deciduous forests, a plethora of large evergreens, glorious aspen/larch mid elevation forests, meadows, and a purely HD subalpine set of flora.

The various models used include, but aren't limited to: (deep breath) ash, birch, aesculus, fagus, norweigian maple, eastern us maple, vine maple, poplar, alder, keg alder, dogwood, chestnuts, aspen, larch, hemlock, doug fir, noble fir, spruce, common spruce, blue spruce, shore pine, lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, white pine, scotts pine, cedar, old growth cedar, subalpine fir, seasonal bushes, blackberries, lupines, scotch broom (jenet), ferns, corylus, lavendar, feather grass, pampas grass, narcissus, sparaxis, poppies.....

But you probably are sick of words and want some pics. Here ya go:











First, a great big old THANK YOU!!! goes to CP and Girafe for BATing all this excellent flora that we get to work with. I also have to give a big shout out to Lowkee for documenting much of the current knowledge about modding flora and tree controllers and for all his contributions to the community.

Mad props go to my testing crew, including but not limited to Paeng, Simcoug, Vortext, Tariel, Shroud, Nos17. Also big thanks to the whole simpeg crew who offered their thoughts, constructive criticisms, and support on this project.

As i said, it should be up on the STEX shortly.

Finally i can get back to playing this game and making updates for this CJ :D (after 5 months of work!)

Happy gaming. Now channel your Bob Ross and paint some Happy Little Trees!


@Tonraq, TowerDude, RepublicMaster, Benedict, 47ply: Thanks a lot for all your comments!


55. Progress Report


55. Progress Report

Howdy everyone.

Sorry for the delay in posting; i've gotten caught up in some more custom content projects, then my computer went and died so i was without a desktop for 3 weeks. But now i'm finally back up and running.

I just wanted to show you the new tree controller i've been working on. I'm about halfway done with it, and here's what i have so far. The currently completed brushes - fall:




Lowlands - fall:






more meadows:


mid elevation forests - fall:




from my Mt. Bachelor test tile - fall:




and for a closeup, a pair of mosaics. Fall:




So that's what i've been working on. The empty areas are places i haven't made brushes for yet. ETA right now (thanks to the dead pc delay) is 4-6 weeks. I probably won't post another update until i have the controller finished, but i still do greatly appreciate all your comments, even if it means i won't be responding for quite awhile.

Cheers, stay warm out there.


@infamousjbe: those are all seasonal trees, sorry.

@feeroz123: #wanderlust :P

@prophet42: Thanks, that's what i'm going for. Love the bonsai avatar pic, btw.

@paeng: Thanks boss :D

@gugu3, silvercyric, Huston, anytownUSA, plantsvszombies, #1SithLord; Thanks a lot for all your kind words. :thumb:


54. Burg Eltz Overlook


54. Burg Eltz Overlook

Welcome back, folks! Today we have just a quickie of an update from a little side-project of mine:













And that's it, thanks for stopping by!


@Huston, TekindusT, Schulmanator, raynev1, Aaron Graham, mpkio2, UndercoverNinja12, Nos.17, dubaidude303, trong_nahn1990, dabadon5, BrJason; Thanks to all you guys for your kind words; it's greatly appreciated! :D

@mpkio2: Nos.17 is correct; larger RHW bridges are found in the newests NAM using the Ground Highway tool to drag out your bridge. Happy bridge building!


53. Inner Suburbia


Update 53: Inner Suburbia

Hello again, everyone! Welcome back for another update.

This time we switch gears a little: we're just going to cross some bridges...


...and take a quick peek at the housing near the port district.









End of line.

Thanks again for stopping by.


@daybreak: Thanks! The seawalls i used were jeronij's v4 seawalls, moonlight's suburban canals, and my stanley park seawalls.

@nirwanda, TekindusT, Huston, Indiana Joe, Simcity41, NMUSpidey, Gugu3, galactose310, RepublicMaster, CorpusDei: Thanks a lot for all of your kind words. :D


52. Hood's Hook


Update 52: Hood's Hook

So, back to the container terminal featured in the last update, and its another tile that i never quite finished. There is enough here to show off, though, before i show you my new project. (yes, i have project ADD again)

This is the part of Borealis City where the older container terminal is located. As mentioned, this is unfinished, so there are lots of little errors; unfilled zonings, lack of flora, etc.

01. Rolling up to the terminal; rail entrance and worker parking.


02. Just some warehouses.


03. Loading at the container terminal.


04. More containers...


05. Truck/Rail transfer point.


06. Other end of the rail terminal.


07. At the end of the rail line is a set of car sidings, and one of the freshwater resevoirs.


08. Hoods Hook


09. From another perspective.


10. And from the area surrounding the container terminal, to the south we have the Car terminal, where automobiles are loaded and unloaded off the ships.


11. The Autos terminal is a retrofitted grain terminal that was destroyed in a fire decades ago. Some of the original equipment remains scattered over the area.


12. Farther around the hook we have another freshwater reservoir for the fire department.


13. A faux-canal that serves for runoff drainage and enters the reservoir.


14. From another angle.


15. Shops along the canal.


16. And at the end of the canal, the offices of the Port Authority.


17. Back along the hook, warehouses line the terminus of the inlet.


18. You don't want to know what's brewing here. Legend has it this is where the mob sends people to 'sleep with da fishes.'


Hmm...maybe i should have kept this update split up...naaaah.

And that's all of the port. Up next we'll take a quick peak at the surrounding suburbia.

Thanks for stopping by.


Wow, lot's of comments, and a whopping +27 rep too! Thanks everyone!

@naftixe: Thanks. I actually was using the europort as more of a guide.

@schulmanator: Thank you, sir! Good to be back :D

@PhatHead: Thanks for commenting. Hopefully the wait wasn't too long :P

@raynev1: Thanks, glad you liked it.

@NMUSpidey: Gracias, amigo!

@Huston: Aye, i'm not sure what's going on with the screenshots from this set. I think IRFanview was slightly off the resolution i was using, or resized it just a tad, or did something to bork with it. Hopefully it won't happen on the next batch of pics i take. /shrug

@Sylvio Jorge: Thanks, there's lot's of different sets out there that give ports some amazing potential.

@Vlasky: Thanks for commenting.

@tankmank: Thanks, but is copying real life that inventive? :P

@Alex_1210, tman4usa: Yup, they navigate with props for forward/reverse motion only and let the tugs move them in and out of line. If you look at many ports, they have narrow channels along the terminals like this, because making enough room for the ships to maneuver on their own would waste a ton of valuable space.

@#1SithLord: Thank you, sir!

@RepublicMaster: Thanks, and is that a penny arcade avatar pic?

@simcity41: Thanks; there's a lot of good walls out there, and seawalls can really make your coastline.

@galactose310: The terrain is Sunken Valley by Gobias, and the water for this update is Gobias' Inside Passage from one of his water packs (#1, i think)

@superbacon: eh, not as bad as you might think. :P

@prophet42: Thanks!

@gugu3: Thanks for commenting.

@spursrule: Thanks for the award!

@GMT (u50): Thanks you, sir!


51. The Return


Update 51: The Return

Hello Everyone! Now that I have your attention:


(~reminder: Please Click For Full Resolution)



We Don't Need No Stinking Teasers!!!


The Ring of Fire makes its fall return. Up next week: we take a closer look at the container terminal at Hood's Hook (above).

But in all seriousness; i noticed that there's been something like 5k views since the last entry i posted almost 5 months ago. I'm rather humbled that my CJ has gotten so much traffic in absentia. I can remember the days when an average update got only 2-4 comments. So I hope I can live up to your expectations and make the wait worth it. We Shall See.

Until next time, happy gaming. Stay dry out there. :ninja:



Update 50: Mosaic Mania

Hello again, everyone! Welcome back for update 50. Last week we reclimbed Mt. Fuji. Since my main page submission seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle and the view count was rather low, you might want to go back and look at last week's update before this one if you missed it, since this week is the mosaics to last week.

So this week, mosaics to last week. This is one of my most ambitious mosaic attempts: it stretches across parts of 4 tiles.

(~reminder: Please Click For Full Resolution)

01. Going up Mt. Fuji.


02. And coming back down.


Since this is update 50 (*cough* and i didn't have anything special planned *cough*) I figured I'd keep with the mosaic theme and showcase some mosaics of the pasts.

03. Pine Hill harbor and seaplane port from Crater Lake.


04. From the waaaayback machine we dig into Rip City, Powell cinder cone and hot springs.


05. The Zanarkand - East Crossing Industrial Area.


06. From the far north, the Tundraport Oil Terminals.


07. The slopes of Mt. Rainier.


08. And finally, lovely Cannon Beach.


And that's update 50. I don't have any plans for the future, so we're still on a sporadic update schedule and i don't know when the next will be, so i'll respond in the comments below in a week or so. Until next time happy gaming and enjoy the spring sun!


@Schulmanator: Thank you sir! Always good to see you around here, too. :D

@Forthwall: Thanks! Aye, that little japanese bus stop in the middle adds so much for such a small lot.

@grstudios: Thanks.....then get back to it! :P

@vivapanda: Nature, nature everywhere.

@PhatHead: Thanks, hope you get a chance to look around.

@terring, ggamus, gugu3: Thanks for all your comments guys :D.


Reclimbing Mt Fuji


49. Reclimbing Mt. Fuji

Hello everyone! It seems like it's been forever since i've update. /checks calender.... Why yes indeed, it has been forever. And over 5k views since the last update too....wow.

First up, I'd like to give all of you a huge THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! for this little gem:


Your continued support is very, very much appreciated. The several nominations i got in other categories are quite surprising too, so thanks a lot for all your votes!

Now then, onto the update. A long time ago i did This, and with all the shiny new HD flora i've been wanting to redo it (and really, what better way to celebrate a nature trixie than with more nature?). So here we go.

(~reminder: Please Click For Full Resolution)

Once again we start climbing the slopes of Mt. Fuji. This time the town we start at is a hamlet on the slopes.

01. We arrive there by train. There's a small bus stop in the roundabout.


02. The little town is made up of timberframe homes. (In Japan? Just go with it...)


03. The south side of town. All of 2 blocks from the north side of town.


04. It's said the locals built up just to see over the abundant vegetation.


05. Uphill from the town is a small shrine.


06. Closeup on the standing stones.


07. Above the town lies an old palace.


08. And we end up at the trailhead, where there's a bus stop identical to where we started. Although it seems the seasons mysteriously shifted.


09. And an overview of the town.


10. Last time we left off at the trailhead....


11. Start of the trail.


12. Still loving girafe's wildflowers.


13. The deciduous trees start thinning out...


14. ...and we climb up into pure evergreens...


15. ...until eventually reaching the first fall snow.


16. Eventually we get to the top, where another stone marker awaits us.


17. The shrine at the top crater rim.


18. They overlook the steaming crater.


19. And finally we zoom out on the crater of Fuji-san.


Well that's it for this update. Up next week for update 50: biiiiiiiiiiiig mosaics. :D

Happy gaming everyone! Thanks again for reading.




48. Replies

Howdy folks. Sorry to leave you hanging for so long without replying, but i haven't had much playtime in the last month, and with the approach of the NAM update i've been focusing on custom content and other things.

If you watch my simpeg thread you'll have seen the reflectoblob-this long overdue monstrosity is now


Sadly i won't be returning to regular updates at this time, nor in the near future, but you never know what might pop up in this space.


@ALL- my sincere apologies for not replying to you sooner.

@simcoug: pffft. You can use the waterfall pieces as well as i :P

@ggamus: indeed. I wonder how much time maxis spent with flora in the new SimCity? ......

@Schulmanator: Thank you, sir. Just please don't use mine as a chew toy. :D

@evanm1487: Hah. Well the bob ross pic in the replies certainly came from the internet.

@Forthwall: Thanks a lot for the comment.

@RepublicMaster: Thanks! Mosaics are fun to do too.

@Bluthlucidity: Thanks for commenting :D

@hudman1984: Yea Yea...lol

@Efkin: Thanks for your comment and for stopping by.

@grstudios: Thanks! Always good to see you around, GR.

@dubiadude303: Me too, but it's covered in a ton of snow most of the year up there :P

@Leszczyk: Thanks for commenting :D



47. Mosaics From Lookout Ridge.

Welcome back everyone! This week's update is a not-so-long one. Just 4 pics....but they're all mosaics!

(~reminder: Please Click For Full Resolution.....if you dare....)

1. 1. The whole shabang.


2. A cross valley shot from a previously unshown lookout to the south lookout.


3. Up the valley.


4. And back down.


And that's that. Not sure what will be up next time....

I hope you enjoyed the mosaics. Please feel free to comment and bump the +1 below.

Thanks for stopping by everyone, and thanks a lot for all your comments!


Whew, all kind's of comments to reply to (even though a lot of people were playing the beta instead of viewing CJs according to the view count...)

@Amerikaner, RepublicMaster, Schulmanator, Sucram17, ggamus, Hazani Pratama, MilitantRadical, Huston, zimmie, Aaron Graham, Leszczyk: Thanks to all of you for your kind words; your comments keep this CJ going. :D

@PaulSawyer: Aye, Mt. Rainier is just SE of seattle. If you ever see pictures of the seattle skyline you can see the mountain easily. Also the olympic mountains across the sound to the west. It really is a beautiful place.

@Forthwall: Thanks, i took those pics on a hike up there last september. Too bad the high clouds and hazy air made for pad lighting....

@ROFLyoshi: Thanks, the water on the upper elevation section is one from the RFR pack, the falling water is jeronij's water effects, and the water down in the bottom of the valley i believe is from sorchin's pack.

@jrnavid: Thanks you, sir! This update brought to you by happy trees: :P


A tree isn't art until it's a happy tree.

@abracadabraz85: Yeah, it's hard to believe that they would take the time to make something with the potential to reach what sc4 has become.



46. Lookout Ridge, Mt. Rainier.

So a little while ago Girafe released some excellent lupines. With that final ingredient the recipe to re-imagine Mt. Rainier, one of my favorite places, is complete (well, complete enough). And so now the nature update you knew was coming sooner or later. Fair warning: this update is LONG-like the longest i've ever done long, so get yourself some coffee before we get started. I'm not kidding: just look at that scrollbar on your right...

In reality, this is called Stevens Ridge, and the waterway below it is Steven's creek. But we're going to call it Lookout Ridge. (reminder: ~please click for full resolution)

00. We start off on a trail somewhere on Mt. Rainier:


01. Here Greenery abounds.


02. High up, some of the late summer flowers bloom right up against ground that still has patchy coverings of snow.


03. Snow in summer....who'da thunk it:


04. Meltwater trickles down through the meadows in a small stream.


05. It gives rise to patches of green amist the last remnants of snowpack.


06. The trail crosses the narrow stream.


07. A small fork in the trail, the uphill path winds through denser snowpack.


08. The streambeds dry into the barest trickle of water over rocky ground dotted with patches of green.


09. Eventually snow lays a year-long claim to the ground, and the trail is reduced to a series of stone markers poking through the snowfield. Up here is the higher watchpost above lookout ridge.


10. Looking back down on the small basin-like depression.


11. Larger view...


12. Small overview of the basin.


13. Alpine wildflowers.


14. The loop trail continues on and we meet some cyclists.


15. As the trail passes along the edge of the basin the water drops right over the side.


16. Start of the waterfalls.


17. The trail continues on.... always going....


18. ....until we reach the lookout above the waterfalls.


19. There's all kinds of people here.


20. Looking down on just a couple of the hundreds of waterfalls coming off the mountain.


21. It's a long ways down.


22. It's amazing how much water a single mountain can hold.


23. The trail continues on, passing another stream that's so small you barely notice it till you're on top of it.


24. In reality:


25. Heading up the side of the ridge.


26. Climbing through scree slopes we reach the southern lookout tower.


27. This lookout is perched atop the ridge instead of a small know of a hill.


28. You can see all the way down into the bottom of the valley.


29. Further south there is no trail but there's enough open space to explore the wildflowers amidst the snowfields.


30. As the slope drops down the vegetation thickens.


31. The trail back along the backside of the ridge is little more than hardpack between rocks.


32. But you can see the lower trail.


33. And there's still flowers, even when you're high enough up it should be barren.


34. The bottom of the valley.


35. Rapid and fierce erosion make sure the floor is covered in rocks.


36. The steeply sloped valley makes for many rapids.


37. Rapids churn and froth when visible through the trees.


38. More of the isolated valley.


39. And from the other side.


40. And that's it from Mt. Rainier.


Whew. That was long.

I hope you enjoyed it, and if so please feel free to drop a comment below.

Up next week; the mosaics.


@Kruness: I hope it lived up to your expectations :D

@MilitantRadical: Thank you, sir. Glad you enjoyed it :salute:

@Hellken: Yes indeed. I'm loving how the SV terrain mod looks, especially in the snow transition areas. Just flat out loving it.

@RepublicMaster: Thanks for the comment! Hope this week didn't disappoint.

@ggamgus: Thanks! I did quite a bit of looking at ports in google earth before i built it. Google earth really is a great resource for doing research before you build something in SC4.

@Fox: Thanks; the port pieces are nbvc's, and i think most of the containers sitting on the ground are from the SNM container set, so not really that much goes into it. Hardest part is scrolling alllllllllllllllll the way to the bottom of the parks menu to get to those containers.... And you can't see it from the pics i've shown so far, but that oil terminal is really an island and the container dock is on the backside on the mainland.

@Huston: Thank you, sir. I'm finding i like making mosaics more and more as i make these updates-so much potential in them, like you said.

@City_Master: Thanks for the comment! You'll find that many ports have freshwater reservoirs like this for scrubbing down ships and resupply.

@NMUSpidey: Thank you, sir! I spent some time looking at the Hook of Holand and the rest of the Europort at Rotterdam in google earth. There's also this old but good thread on building ports in SC4. Fortunately there's better tools availible now than when that was written.

@Forthwall: Thanks! I've never actually looked at Oaklands port; i'll have to take a peek at it.

@Burndawg: Ha ha thanks, but i recommend looking at a real port somewhere and trying to make the most of imitating that instead; it'll probably look better that way.

@Goin2Chicago: Thank you for the comment. I look forward to seeing what you can do.


Port Mosaics


45. Port Mosaics

Welcome back everyone! Today i offer you a pair of mosaics showcasing tundraport.

(click for full size....if you dare)

Zoom 2:


Zoom 4:


Thanks for stopping by everyone. Next week we get back to nature, and for that i offer you a little teaser:



@ggamus, schulmanator, Hazani Pratama, republic master, LilQ156; Thanks to all of you folks for your comments!

@Fox: Thank you, sir. I'm finding that adding more and more car parking around adds to the realism; i really like the parking set by shok and paeng.

@Jamonbread: Go for it. Good transitions are a vital part of making things more realistic.

@fatjuice888: There's not actually all that much to download. There are 2 oil sets there; one by nbvc and one by somy, plus somy's warehouses, shoktherapys hd parking pack, nbvc's rock walls, and some industrial fillers.

@TayMay87: Well if that was hard on it you may want to avoid next weeks's.... :P



44. Oil Terminal at Tundraport

Welcome back everyone! Today we move west along the island and look at part of Tundraport's extensive oil terminal.


01. Last time we mentioned that a bridge divided the LNG terminal from the oil terminal.


02. The oil pipeline runs underneath the bridge to the trans-Cascadia pipeline and the rail pumping station on the other side.


03. The avenue that runs through the terminal.


04. Just a closeup....


05. Just another closeup....


06. Freshwater Processing Facility


07. Canal connecting the Freshwater Reservoirs with a rather ridiculous location for beach access.


08. Ship at one of the oil piers.


09. Oil terminal Offices.


10. The oil terminal has it's own fire department. You can never have enough fire protection at an oil refinery.


11. There's lots and lots of storage at the terminal, as well as some refining going one. The port exports more than just crude.


12. Yet more storage.


13. Processing facility.


14. Yet another closeup.


15. Half the overview.


16. More overview.


17. Tanker at night.


18. And finally the oil terminal at night.


And that's it, thanks for stopping by everyone. Hope you enjoyed your visit.


@ggamus: Thanks for the comment!

@Schulmanator: Thank you, sir! And congratz on your #1 spot for the year!

@Simul8ter8: Thanks, it feels really good to be here, but it's all thanks to you guys :D

@Forthwall: Thank you for commenting, kind sir!

@NMUSpidey: Yeah it's easy to miss something that's only been getting updated once a month. I need to get busy :P

@daybreak: Thank you! my pleasure...

@Disorder: I'm sure i'll get to a proper railyard sooner or later. Thanks for stopping by!



43. Tundraport LNG Terminal

Welcome back everyone! First things first, a huge THANK YOU to all my viewers and supporters for this:


I'm immensely honored you guys put me in the top ten last year, up from #31 in 2011. Hopefully we can have another great year here in the Ring of Fire.

To kick off the new year we'll start small, nothing grandiose. We now travel north to the Yakutat region, where fossil fuels are exported after being pumped from under the frozen tundra and piped to the coast. Today we'll take a look at the LNG terminal of Tundraport, which takes up only a very small part of the extensive port facilities.

01. A docked ship at pier 3


02. Pier 3 is located out at the tip of the terminal.


03. The original piers 1 and 2 are located right next to the storage tanks.


04. The LNG terminal is located out on a small island. The bridge from the island, and it's continuation down to a tunnel that runs over to the barrier islands, is the dividing point between the LNG terminal and the Oil terminal.


05. Both the LNG and Oil terminals have large freshwater resevoirs, for scrubbing out ships, fighting fires, etc.


06. The far end of the resevoir down by pier 3 has storage and a pumping station.


07. At the very end of the road on the tip of the island is beach access.


08. Overview of (most of) the LNG terminal.


09. And at night.


Like i said, nothing big just a small start. That's it for this week. Up next is the eastern part of the expansive Oil terminal. Thanks for stopping by everyone; stay warm out there.




New Tree Controller.

Time for some shameless self-promotion. :P Here's what i've been working on for the past 2 months. Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce the Pacific Northwest Tree Controller. All of the following pictures were made using the God-Mode flora brush.


1. The cold conifers of the Pacific Northwest.


2. Now coming to you in a seasonal controller.


3. The lower elevation mix of evergreens and deciduous in fall....


4. ....in winter....


5. ....and in summer.


6. A coastal cliff in fall.


7. And in summer.


8. Moving up to the subalpine meadows. In fall....


9. ....and in summer.


10. Zooming in on the upper elevations.


11. And in summer.


All of the above shots were made using only the God-Mode brush. Look for it soon at an Exchange near you!


@MilitantRadical, Kruness, Schulmanator, Mithrik, grstudios, NMUSpidey: Thanks to all of you for your kind words (But the picture of the crazy guy from ancient aliens is a liiiiiiiiittle scary. :P)


The Spire


41. The Spire

We interrupt this scheduled hiatus for a brief news update....

Just a little bit of a story i whipped up, because i felt like it. It's not really supposed to make a lot of sense or anything; it just is.


1. The fourth Zeppelin Exploratory Mission surveys the forested coast of the western continent. The three dirigibles fly in wing formation, scanning the ancient taiga. The expedition left civilization behind weeks ago and now ride the winds over empty and distant lands, masters of all they see.


2. Flying above the cold evergreens something looms on the far horizon. It's straight sides clearly make it artificial, it's extreme distance make it colossal.


3. The zeppelins close the distance and inspect the unknown spire.


4. Impossibly ancient, unfathomably advanced, the Spire was clearly built by an advanced civilization. But there are no other advanced civilizations, and this structure has weathered the northern storms for a long, long time.


5. Dense conifers obscure the ground and any secrets it may hide. The Chief Cartographer makes an executive decision: this structure is too important not to explore. Having nowhere to land won't foil the crew: The zeppelins take position offshore and each releases a pair of zodiacs into the frigid waters. The rubber boats manuever through the surf and onto shore. As the zeppelins move down the coast in search of an adequate landing site the team prepares to set up camp and explore the spire.


6. Everyone is too excited to sleep so the crew continues to explore the abandoned tower, playing with things they don't understand. From hidden reserves of power the spire comes to life...


aaaaand that's it. Just posting something for the sake of posting something, really. Please don't expect a return to regular updates yet as I'm still working on other things. But by all means feel free to comment and +1 if you wish to, I'll probably make replies in this post in a week. If you want to see a couple little extras that don't always make it to simtrop feel free to take a peek over at simpeg. Thanks again for stopping by!


As I said, I'll try to make replies in the comments since i have no idea how long it will be before i post again. But anyways! on to last update's:

@grstudios: Thank you sir! I like where your CJ is going too.

@ten trillion: You know, i never really thought of that. It's been much too long since I've used UDI, but the last time i did, children died, so i'm not sure you want me to do that. :P

@NMUSpidey: Hello, kind sir! Yeah Alaska had like a 9.1 back in the ....60's? Something like that. Incredible pictures, well worth your time if you can find some.

@Kruness: Thanks! I'm not very good at PS myself, so if i can do it, you can do it :P

@gugu3: Thanks a lot for your comment!

@ggamgus: you mean the history channel still has history-ish stuff on it?! when did that happen?! I'm so sick of their quasi-reality shows....

@hammysonata: Thanks for your comment! I like what you're doing with your CJ too and look forward to your updates.

@wcraig: Thanks, but i can't make any promises.


Replies & Hiatus


40. Replies & Hiatus Announcement.

Hi everyone!

Welcome back. I didn't want to let your comments go without a response for too long, so here we are. Also, life has been busy the last couple months and i'm out of posting material. And since i want to take some time to work on some custom content, there won't be any time to keep this thing updated for the near future. If you're ever curious to see what i'm working on, you can always head over to simpeg.

Although i will probably use my CJ to plug some custom content, i wouldn't expect regular updates again until december or january, just so you're warned.

From the wayback machine:


Good old meadowshire+C.P. trees.

Thanks again for stopping by, everyone. And a big THANK YOU!!! again for all your comments and support. Here's to future updates.


@Blakeway: Thank you, sir!

@grstudios: Thanks! But don't feel too bad for them; they're only sims, after all :P

@ggamgus: Oh well, i guess you just must be a little bit evil at heart. :evil:

@hammysonata: Thanks for your comment. Ah yes, new jersey...... aye yi yi....

@Schulmanator: Thanks a lot! It took a long time before i felt comfortable trying something like that in photoshop: i'm not real big on using it.

@Simul8ter8: Thank you for the comment. :D I know, i have to get back to building actual cities. Well maybe with only a little nature detour now and then....

@evillions: Thank you! Yeah there isn't much in the way of destruction but oh well. Yes the only photoshopping i did was the shaking blur in pic 3, i overlapped some pics to make more fire for pic 5, a slight touching of dust in pic 6, then of course the tsunami wave in 9 and 10.

@Hazani Pratama: Thanks a lot for dropping by with a comment!

@Kruness: Thank you! That's good to hear because it's not something i ever practice.

@NMUSpidey: Thank you, sir! Yeah i watched quite a bit too, it was fascinating. I remember watching the live newsfeed of the helicopter over sendai as the wave rolled through; it was terrifying (and late at night here). National Geographic Channel did a special on it later with all kinds of incredible footage. I think the thing that struck me the most is, right at the beginning of the show, they showed 6 straight minutes of earthquake footage where stuff was shaking violently. Now watching it at home, after awhile you're like: "wow this has gone on forever, isn't it about time for a commercial break?" and then they tell you that the amount of time you just spent watching the quaking was the actual amount of time the shaking too place in Japan. Holy mackerel it must have been quite the experience.

And we do get some science/history channel stuff on these things too living on an active techtonic margin. Tsunamis here have decimated the native coastal population in times past too.

@gugu3: Thanks for your comment, my good sir!

@jerontje: Thanks, i aim to please :D

@urbanconstanta: Thanks for the comment. Yes we are; i wonder where that map came from? :P

@Harbin91: Thanks. Well the construction workers that laid it down sure weren't local city construction workers, that's for sure. :rofl: But from what i've seen, it seems like the roads and stuff survive these things quite well (once the mud is scraped off)

@Uzil: Thanks a lot! Realism is what i go for.

@111222333444: Thanks for commenting! I'm sure they can rebuild soon; they have a magical save state in the backup region folder :thumb:

@B.C.builder: Thank you. A combination of tweaking the sealevel in reader and with photoshop.

@Efkin: Thanks for commenting. I'm not sure it's a happy end but you certainly nailed their reaction.


The Earth Shakes


39. The Earth Shakes

Hi everyone! So it struck me some time ago that my descriptive blurb mentions 'destruction' yet we haven't actually seen any of that to this point. Time to rectify that. ggamgus got it first, then ROFLyoshi, and it looks like NMUspidey has it figured out too.

Region: Somewhere on the shore of the Great Sea.

Area/Tile: Cannon Beach.

Normally i don't like to photoshop my images but i can't tell this story without it.


Cannon Beach. A typical summer morning...

01. A typical summer morning on the Pacific Coast. The mornings are quiet as the locals and the glut of summer tourists just start to rise to face the day.


02. Waves lap gently on the shore in an endless cycle perpetuated for billions of years. This morning only a few early birds are out and about, appreciating nature's beauty.


03. But there are other relentless cycles underway deep under the waves' surface. On this morning another cycle comes full circle. 300 years of tectonic pressure causes a massive rupture in the seafloor. With a scream of agony the earth tears, and the shock waves reverberate through the planet. Only a few miles away in Cannon Beach those yet to rise are rudely awakened by violent shaking.


04. Fires quickly start as gas lines rupture, and old buildings burst into flames.


05. The old brick buildings can't stand up to the earth's violent upheaval and soon crash down, becoming just heaps of rubble. The fires burn out of control for now.


06. Firemen don't rush to put the flames out. Instead they rush to evacuate who they can, because they know another threat is on the horizon. Clouds of stirred dust rise with the smoke. The sea retreats.


07. The foolish run down to see what is happening with the retreating ocean.


08. Those that know what it means run for higher ground. But there are thousands of people in this city, and how ever many make it up to the hill, those on the high ground know there are many more trapped in town.


09. The tsunami comes from the northwest. It pounds into the cliffs north of town, but these houses are high enough to escape the wave of death.


10. Cannon Beach isn't so lucky.


11. As the sea brutally devours the city it sweeps almost everything away from before it.


12. Piles of rubble are pushed up to the edge of the hills where the land starts to rise.


13. And when the waters retreat a town of almost 7000 people is quite literally wiped off the map. Such are the hazards of living in the ring of fire.


If you're wondering why the school survived, it's because i made an update over at simpeg that i never reproduced here and i felt rather bad about that one, so i spared the children this time. Well, some of them...

And that's it for this update. I know its grim instead of the usual, but i hope it was at least interesting, if not especially enjoyable. But if you feel like it, please comment below and feel free to poke the +1 in the bottom right. Thanks for stopping by everyone!

Also, i'm out of update material and september turned out to be much busier than expected, so we're going to have to go back onto the sporadic update schedule. I have some custom content to focus on. Until next time, happy gaming!


@IL: Thank you, sir! Interesting guess, but not quite.

@simcoug: Yes, it does work rather well for you, doesn't it? Well at least the early morning was good for beach combing...

@hammysonata: Thanks! Not necessarily something sinister, just something unconscious of what it does.

@Blakeway: All over the place!

@ggamgus: ding, ding, ding! we have a winner!

@militantradical: yes sir. /salute

@Kinderly: and now the mystery is solved.

@ROFLyoshi: also correct, sir. I bet that was quite the experience, seeing the harbor empty out. Personally i have no desire to live that one myself.

@NMUspidey: sorry, not just a low tide. That would be kind of cruel to post a teaser like that and then just have it be for low tide, though. Hmm....which gives me an idea...


Replies + Teaser


38. Replies + Teaser

Normally i don't do this sort of thing, but i don't have time to do an update this week and i feel that 18 comments is too many to let pass two weeks without replying to. Thanks for all the comments, you guys rock!

Teaser: up next time on the Ring of Fire-

"Mommy, why is the ocean gone?"

~5 year old resident of Cannon Beach.


Tune in next time to see what is going on. If you dare....


@_Marsh_: Thank you, sir! Always a pleasure to see you around!

@NMUSpidey: Thanks a lot for your kind words! That's high praise. Yes football slumps are a real bummer, but as a Washington State alum you get used to it. Oh well, one day both of our conferences will be beating up on the stinking SEC. The name was the name i was using on chess.com when i first made a logon over at simpeg, and since i was fresh out of ideas i kept it. It's my chess name to remind me not to do something stupid. :D

@alexander.bowman: Thanks for your comment. The devil is in the details ;)

@grstudios: Thanks a lot! The sand shows up because that's how it turned out when i made the map. It has to do with where the different depths are placed on the watermask in photoshop before the map ever makes it into the game. So sadly it's not something that can be reproduced in-game without hand terraforming on a pretty big scale.

@Blakeway: Much Thanks! And thanks to choosing me for JCO last week too. :D

@Kruness: Thanks, but if you think that's awesome you should see the real coast that its modeled after.

@Jetty Jockey: Thank you, sir. I believe that lighthouse is an SFBT one from sc4d. It's the by Wallacet. Let me go scrounge up a link for you. Might we be seeing it again on the jersey shore?

@hammysonata: Thanks a lot! Maybe we can see as much detail from rodentia in the near future perhaps? :)

@Hazani Pratama: Thanks for your comment. The beach texture itself is from Lowkee's terrain mod, so i can't take credit for that.

@gugu3: Thanks a lot for commenting.

@TekindusT: Thank you sir. I have to say that's a unique reaction so far. I would have to say, though, that i would definitely do the same if i saw 'Stuff' at the top of the BTT ;)

@mattbuildingsbuildings1234: Well that's what i'm going for, so good to know it's working! Thanks for your comment!

@Mastof: Thank you, sir! Some of the credit on that goes to Paeng for showing me how to blend them easily.

@crazychickensc12: Thanks a lot! I hope you enjoy the rest of that long list of backreading you have if you plan on rereading it all. :P

@Benedict: Thank you, sir! That's high praise indeed. :)


Coastal Mosaics


37. Coastal Mosaics

Welcome back, folks! As promised, here's a couple mosaics from Cannon Beach. Warning: these are big, the second being ridiculously huge, so you may need to save the picture or open it in a new tab/window or something to appreciate it.

Region: Somewhere on the shore of the Great Sea.

Area/Tile: Cannon Beach.


Mad props go to Paeng for showing me the easy way to blend tile transitions in photoshop. These are multi-tile mosaics at zooms..... i think it's 2 then 3, maybe 3 then 4. Whatever.

1280x3100: (clicky for full)


The next closer zoom, 2200x7000: (again, clicky for full, if you dare)


Thanks again for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the mosaics. Please feel free to drop your comments below, and if you can't think of anything to type, you can always pound the little +1 thumbs up button on the bottom right.


Wow, all kinds of comments last week. Nineteen is a second highest so far :)

@Jacob Gaujardo: Thanks, the real Cannon Beach is a pretty cool place. It's very cool to watch the waves crash on the rocks during storms.

@sHnozZa: Thanks for your comment.

@nedal2001: Thank you, sir! That's high praise. And you are indeed correct; the real world equivalent is here.

@vivapanda: Thanks! yeah the updates have been sporadic, so i hope i'll have more for everyone to stop by and see.

@runnerguy347, USA Patriot: Thanks to both of you for your nice comments.

@Eclipticalstorm: Thanks a lot for your comment. The gravel is simply the beach texture from Lowkee's excellent Appalachian terrain mod.

@grstudios: Thank you, sir! The fences are part of the SPAM, i believe they are from the spar addon. They are fences on lots with transparent bases and are found in the verrrrrrrrrrry bottom of the Transportantion->Miscellaneous menu.

@hammysonata: Much thanks. Waves on the shore are peaceful :)

@Hazani Pratana: Thanks for your comment!

@NMUSpidey: Thank you, sir! Yeah the friday updates seem to get pushed down the page pretty fast, and the submitted feature sometimes gets cycled through fast with all the activity these days, so some updates are almost stealthy.

I'm a west coast guy, so we're on opposite sides come rose bowl team. I don't have a team per se, since me alma mater WSU always sucks at football. I root for my pac12 to do good against the other conferences (last week was great, however rare). But mostly i root against the filthy SEC and for whoever is playing against USC. I hate USC, except when they represent in the rose bowl.

@thorbald: Thanks; i think i like that pic best too, which is why i chose it for the feature image.

@packersfan: Thank you, sir! But not as awesome as the Wenzel street map ;)

@Mithrik: Thanks a lot for your comment!

@AprilAero: Thank you. The terrain is Lowkee's terrain mod from sc4devotion. The water is shoktherapy's Brigantine 2.0. The trees are from c.p. and giraffe, also availible at sc4d. The small stuff is mostly from giraffe and the VIP team, availible both here at the STEX and over at sc4d. If you want to know any other stuff, buildings and whatnot you'll have to be more specific.

@Huston: Thank you, sir. I love those kayaks, and especially that bonfire lot by nbvc.

@woodnava, Kruness: Thank you both very much for your kind words!


Coastal Living


36. Coastal Living

And now the update that was set up by last week's episode. We get a peek at life on the Pacific Coast.

Region: Somewhere on the shore of the Great Sea.

Area/Tile: Cannon Beach.


01. The south side of Cannon Beach.


02. The south end of town tapers off in a row of houses along the beach frontage road.


03. There's another neighborhood on the north side of town across the river.


04. It has some bonafide beach bum shacks.


05. And yet more small beach houses crammed together as close to the beach as it's safe to build.


06. Further north is the Clifftop neighborhood.


07. They've got a pretty sweet view.


08. People hanging out on the beach.


09. More on the shore.


10. Getting ready to head out.


11. Crazy windsurfers in dangerous waters.


12. Local fisher's trying for lingcod in the rocks while a trawler transits the point.


13. Beach bonfire party!


14. The viewpoint at Ecola Rocks.


15. Wave to the boat kids....


16. ...just don't get too close to the edge.


17. Lighthouse over the Ecola Rocks cliff.


18. Keeping an eye on the offshore trawlers out of astoria.


19. The Ecola Rocks coastline.


20. The stormscoured shore.


21. And finally an overview of the Ecola Rocks tile.


Hope you all enjoyed this update! Feel free to hit the thumbs up and/or leave a comment below. Up next week: ridiculous mosaics.


@nedal2001, Lasttruechamp: Thanks, i love areal shots too.

@grstudios, gugu3, packersfan; Muchas Gracias, amigos. :)

@dabadon5: Thanks; realism is what i go for usually :)

@Blakeway: Thank you, sir! Maybe one of these days Jesus will choose my CJ :P

@Huston: Thanks, I like the real world place too, it has the same feel.

@Mother of Invention: Gracias, the beaches like this are something i've just started working on.


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