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About this City Journal

Stories and pictures of Dallas County as I imagine it.

Entries in this City Journal


USA redux part 3

well i have most of the landmasses smoothed out except for a patch near the upper right and the islands off the coast of florida

not sure if canada has so many lakes but it's the most time consuming aspect of this project. some of the lakes aren't that deep so you can either take them out or deepen them to your heart's content. i just smoothed them out w/softer beaches.


some parts of the map will not be accurate as to elevation with the shorelines but this can be fixed in game or w/SC4T


i really like the new mountain ranges w/o the huge jagged peaks which was a result of the render process in SC4


not that much land left to smooth out and then i have to smooth out the seabed but keep it closer to the surface so future players can use the "empty" tiles which will have nothing but ocean in them. this map should be finished either tomorrow or the day after and my original estimate of 3 days w/about accurate since i'm on day 3 and i'm nearly finished. once i'm done w/this map i'll rework my lakes and rivers map w/a smoother surface and play around w/some of the terraforming tools in SC4T.

please note this map is being smoothed for playability and not accuracy in regards to elevations or major landmass features or coastlines. the beta is still on the STEX and can be edited to your specifications.

thanks for stopping by


USA redux part 2

so here is the second installment and this is what i have so far in day 2 of doing a major overhaul of the USA map. as you can see in the overview the smoothed out area is a lot greener than the rest (upper left) and while the rest of the map looks more detailed b/c it is but it's mostly unplayable in it's current version. most of the shorelines have been done and should have softer beaches but will tackle the great lakes either later today or tomorrow.










here is a hint of the new and improved shoreline. it's a lot more cleaner and softer than the beta

the biggest problem w/the beta is it's unplayablity, note the extreme dips and hills which will make you tear your hair out trying to play this

so using the smooth tool in SC4T i've reduced most of the hills and dips. notice the difference between the left and the right

but there will be watoosies since it's hard to see what the finished product will look like in SC4T but a few quick passes w/the plains tool in SC4 should correct it in-game once you load it

i am going to try and leave most of the mountain ranges in but smooth them out so if you have sims crazy enough to live up there you can do it (creator note: would be great for the PEG ski resort). of course you can do whatever you wish once it's finished

but there is problem w/the ocean area and that is that when i worked on the beta i had to raise the terrain by 200 which brought up the seafloor greatly,  i used the valley tool to create a quick dip near the shoreline to see the difference and it's huge

a closer view

realistically i could have this reworked version out by next weekend if i spend a lot of time smoothing everything out while trying to keep most of the lakes and streams but some will not make it in due to time constraints. and since i've only have five votes so far for this map to be reworked so it won't be a high priority for me right now and i'm spending all my time doing this instead of playing my region.

There is a poll to vote on what I should do about the seabed.  I can lower it completely which will be time consuming but will give it a little more realism or i can smooth it out so there's not too many bumps and you simply create your own landmasses w/o having to wait forever for the land to break sea level since there will be a lot of ocean tiles.  the choice is in your hands.


USA redux part 1















based off the popularity of the USA (754 downloads) i've decided to rework it into a more playable format but will try to keep most of the smaller lakes and try to fix the shoreline since i had to raise the terrain by 200 to get most of the landmass above sea level.   you can tell the difference between the original and the sissy version in the upper left hand corner.


also please vote on whether i should continue to edit this map to be played, since it's going to take a lot longer than 3 days to do make it playable i would rather know now than waste my time on something that people don't want.  


thanks for stopping by


last note, that IS the JPEG and it't huge, the PNG is even bigger


Wilmer Zoo Teaser

















this is the modular zoo that i put in my city and will add close-ups later when i plop some rewards i earned while snapping the pics for the composite

this is the smaller version which should load faster the top pic is the extreme detail (14MB) in size and will take time to load




















here are some of the barns/houses for the agriculture
these are the plopped ones which is why the city paved the road (creator note, might use the street addon mod to correct the streets to give it continuity)


these are farms that grew w/the fields
here is the farm for the tobacco fields on the far left-hand side of the composite
a different view

the farm for the maple fields w/a wraparound porch
the building for the fruit farm

and lastly another plopped farm on the left and the piggy farm on the right

the entire farming community to put everything in context

hope you enjoyed this installment :)



here's the overview of the small farming community in wilmer, i will add a new entry later w/close-ups for the buildings but for now this is the teaser and be gentle w/the comments since this is my first attempt at a composite




















so a generous donor donated the funds necessary to help beautify the city of wilmer
a few retired airplanes that we're sitting in an airplane graveyard and that were restored and used as centerpieces for two of the roundabouts

and some of the statutes that were donated as well to help bring attention to the canal system being built in wilmer

and something to give the spiritual sims to gaze upon

hope you enjoyed this installment and will post the agriculture and some commercial buildings later on


a few buildings that i plopped to help get the city started and since they come w/jobs they affect the demand for industrial meaning i don't have to zone right away

a copper plant


and a small steel mill that is connected to rail to receive raw materials


the inktopia plant b/c i like it and looks really good at night


and lastly peter's pipe company who has an exclusive contract w/the city to provide the piping for the canal system that is being built <--- teaser



so here are some civic buildings for wilmer that is just starting out

the police station


side view


fire station for the emerging city


water treatment and water production w/the power stations in the background


close-up of the power plants that also produce water


a city is going to produce trash so i have built the proper services needed with a waste to energy plant


a railyard to help send the trash out of the city


a recycling center


addition to the recycling center


and of course a post office so that my sims can win a chance for $5000 for life in the publishing clearinghouse sweepstakes :P


a library so the poorer sims can access the worldwide web


and an elementary school for the little ones


and a small clinic since the city is just starting out


been spending a lot of time naming the major roads and most of them are based on real street names from the actual wilmer and are more or less geographically correct but i have to bend them a little to fit in since the city of wilmer in not that big in reality



here a little artwork i did awhile back. kinda amateurish and was my first time using photoshop and i might lease it later on and get back to doing stuff like this.

as you can see i like BSG and the Corps so why not blend the two ? if maxis ever lets the simcity franchise into space i will be ready.

This a USMC Hyperion Class Force Recon Juggernaut


here is a Triton Class Force Recon Juggernaut


some single fighters in space


a recon bird


this would be an awesome recruit poster for the Corps if and when we ever get space travel


now i am a fan of the old nosecone art found on the old WWII bombers so here is a space interpretation:

"The Wounded Princess"


"The Thirsty Sally"


and last but not least "The Ugly Betty"


and the next entry will be about wilmer and should highlight it's beginning stages. just have to put in a post office and a few commercial buildings.


Terraforming - minor

here is some minor terraforming for wilmer city

the trinity river is running east to west and terminates in fulsom lake and littleton river branches off from the trinity and runs north to south. actually it was supposed to be a creek but there is no way to create something so small in SC4 w/the terraforming tools (creator note : these bodies do not exist in the real wilmer, tx)


a little forest action to make it not so nude. i can't do the entire city w/trees b/c there is major lag just w/this small forested area and the selection of trees is limited since the land is flat.


but w/the mayor mode i can plop some redwoods, firs and cedar trees. what you don't see is that these are the young trees that are freshly planted and will grow bigger. found that out the hard way in the first two versions of this city.


a little wildlife. no sense in using god mode to paint animals since they only last for a little bit and disappear once you exit god mode.


i put water in the city in order to unlock certain rewards and i would like to have a fleet week when the city gets bigger but i need water for the cruisers and frigates and they require water in order to be plopped.


Rail depot

here is the bird's eye, not the prettiest in the world but i had to cram what i wanted into the smallest space possible


this is the anchor, believe it or not, everything is built around or in this case to the south of it's location


the rail service yard directly below where trains are sent to be repaired


here the passenger train cars are sent a little lower to be refurbished


the tank cars where liquids are loaded into railcars


close-up of the trailers being loaded onto flatbed rail-cars


some loading cranes


another loading crane


naturally something this large will need it's own resources for power and water and to keep out thieves and make sure the place doesn't go up in smoke

dedicated fire station


a nearby water tower in case flames do break-out


the reservoir that is used to refill the water tower when there is a drought. there's a little bridge that the employee's can go fishing but i wouldn't trust anything caught.


on overflow channel system to keep the channel from overflowing it's banks


the end of the line for the water supply with a windmill pumping system. (creator note, had no choice since i couldn't find a transition piece to connect this canal series to another so i could have a continuous canal system)


nicely secured power station that's on the city grid but can supply back-up power to the rail depot if the main power station's fail


a police presence to maintain order and a small diner where the employee's can go and get a real hot meal instead of off the roach coach


and this is the local speed trap that the workers in the rail depot know about but people passing through don't (can you see it ?)


here's a better view


and last but not least the southern passenger station where new residents come through


those who have seen the old Wilmer CJ will recognize the basic layout and mostly everything is in place. the only thing i can't figure out is the dead grass around some of the rail lines. it only happens with certain lots. not sure if it's a bug w/the lot or the terrain mod which kind of makes the landscape incongruent but this can't be helped sadly. hope you enjoyed this installment :)

*personal note* big difference in image quality from the original PNG's vs. stripped down JPEG's. of course i can't tell when someone downloads the pic if they were uploaded to simtrop but i think the trade-off in image quality makes up for that fact. what do you think ?



really wish there was a way to to use the original PNG instead of the dumbed down JPEG's. the loss in detail is noticeable, at least to me. tried linking through FB but it says you can't do that and the editor here only allows up to 2 MB per single post and the PNG's from SC4 are normally 1.1 MB or higher. i really need to find some kind of photo sharing. flickr is out b/c it's obsolete and i can't link from my CJ on blogger b/c of the moderators. i really don't want to sign-up for another site to host images but i guess i have too.

anyone know of any good image hosting sites that allow hot linking ?




Here are some pics of the Meadowshire Terrain Mod


The PEG Crystal Lagoon Water Mod


The PEG Brigantine Water Mod


looks really nice but too much like a photoshopped pic

SHK Rock Mod dat 1


SHK Rock Mod dat 2


SHK Rock Mod dat 3


SHK Rock Mod dat 4


SHK Rock Mod dat 5


I like number 3 but i think i'll stick with number 1 for now

Cycledogg's Trees


White Sand Mod


here's a close-up of the white sand blogentry-462032-0-97827800-1344731147_t

This is my current set-up so far for the basic landscaping, trees and water. Once I re-do the rail depot w/all the extra parks and the irrigation canals i'll post them but i want to watch some movies and run SC4 in the background to make sure i fixed the CTD


Mini University

crammed the functional lots of the BSC university into the smallest size possible

this is the trigger building blogentry-462032-0-06675800-1344219044_t and because it didn't have a path connector in the back i had to extend the road one tile up to fit the university library in blogentry-462032-0-29294500-1344219043_t

the steam plant gave me trouble because of an extension that wouldn't fit with any modular parking lots i had so i had to use SAM to connect and if you look closely you can tell that it does't line up right next to the chapel blogentry-462032-0-78673500-1344219041_t

luckily for me i happened to download some park series that worked well with the brick textures for the pathways so i could create walkwaysblogentry-462032-0-92290400-1344219040_t

the pond stand outs because of the difference in grass textures but i can live with itblogentry-462032-0-16408300-1344219040_t


this map took forever to make and will never be on the STEX b/c of a few purists who have nothing better to do than complain.

at 20x14 large city tiles it's completely accurate in scale and the nonsense that anybody can make this map is exactly that : nonsense

i crashed my computer 3 times trying to extract the continental US from the world map and since i don't have $1000 for photoshop i'm

stuck with mspaint and the world map is a resource hog. i have 6 gigs of RAM, 100 gigs of virtual memory and 16 gigs for readyboost and

the world map eats up 80% of my RAM in mspaint.

in it's current form it's unplayable and would need extensive cosmetic surgery to plain out the bumps and i'm pretty sure the US and

canada don't have that many mountains so those would have to be taken out. still haven't heard jack from NHP for any help on map

making so i'll do it myself and learn as i go.

for those lucky enough to download United States 1.0 you will need to raise the terrain by 200 to have all the landmass from the

greyscale and for those who didn't get a chance to download it, go bother NHP and see if they have a map of the continental US.

i'll probably won't do anything with this map b/c the cosmetic surgery will probably take at least 1 day possibly 3 to keep all the

smaller lakes intact and i would have to bottom out the ocean areas b/c you can't see it in the pic but the ocean floor is close to

the surface

the only way i might work on this map is if ussoldier2002 asks me for a playable version other than that, have a nice day


Day 9


well here is the new blog and i'm happy with it. wish i could figure out the CSS for custom fonts for the actual text since the site only uses the generic font families and it's been over 10 years since i've written HTML, CSS, DHTML or Javascript. and i can't forget VBS which is always a handy tool to override any javascript settings. i like the fonts that come with the site but they can only be used to customize the overall menus and blog titles and not the body of the text. supposedly there is an easy CSS editor but doesn't seem to be working right, at least not for me.

as for Wilmer itself i have to add a few more mods that i downloaded and went through the folders on the hard drive and found mods that i downloaded where they weren't supposed to be. gotta pay more attention next time. there is one lot that i can't figure out what it is but it shows up as a plot of dirt in the menu but when i plop it there is nothing and i mean nothing there and naturally there is nothing in the menu descriptor to tell me what it is so i can find the folder and take it out :(

until next time i'll figure out some more debugging and if there are any posts i can help answer i will but between my kids, SC4 and facebook it's hard to find the time and i still haven't fired up the PS3 in awhile. haven't even played uncharted 3 yet and i've yet to finish any of my games :P


Day 8

well, i think the CTD may have been the functional airport that i downloaded so i took it out which kinda bites b/c i wanted something different than the default airports that came w/the game but oh well. i had to move all the entries from here to another site which is just as fine since i'm no longer bound by the strictures of this site but was told that i couldn't link the blog from here b/c even though the blog is on a completely different site w/different rules any links must conform to this site's TOS.

bogus i know but it's their site and their rules. if they want a disney world, rent toy story but i digress. since i'm no longer bound by the strictures and the complaints of a few whiners i can expand the storylines to encompass more adult themes (drugs, crimelords, mafia, etc.) as i follow the lives of the citizens of my cities. it's been awhile since i've done any creative writing and of course we live in a PC world where god forbid should anyone be offended. reminds me of high school actually. while my story writing and ideas may have been provocative and semi blasphemous they were always accepted and even heralded as a break from the norm. (marat/sade easter)

i read somewhere that in order to have gripping drama you need flawed characters to give the audience something to relate to or in the very least something to captivate their attention. and thus i have created Katelynn Zeisler's profile which for the most part is PG as well as one of her photo albums. the PG-13 album will come later as i find upgraded pics. the only things posted here will be the same bland and tedious chores of debugging and creating a city.



Day 7

completely re-doing the layout of wilmer b/c i didn't like the original layout.


it all starts with the rail depot and i had to completely rethink the layout and i'm more or less happy with it. blogentry-462032-0-43968300-1343230983_t

it's adding the trees and flowers around the container area which is mostly time consuming b/c i have to put them in by hand and have to be careful when i put the flowers in or they will show up in the road and that won't do at all.


and i can't figure out the red tiling effect for the sidewalks. and it's pretty much random when they show up. it must be one of the road texture mods for NAM that might be doing it and that might be the source of the crashing if i have a euro mod in addition to the standard american mod but if i'm not mistaken i needed a euro addon for something i really wanted and it listed it as a dependency.

someone suggested that i take half the plugins out and run the game to see if it will crash but not sure if it will crash anyway since some of the mods are dependent on one another and it would be time consuming anyway since there are over 1,700 folders alone in the EA plugins folder and i still haven't checked the documents plugins folder.

so far the only fix that i have is to put a governor aka CPUCount to keep it from crashing


Day 6

ran the cleanitol files to address the crashing issue and it seems to be working but that was only for 10 minutes or so to test the new lots. some look good for the night lighting effects and some don't work. those might be the trunite versions which means i'll have to put it back in and see how it looks. i had to take the governor off because there was way too much lag.

going to have re-edit some of the katelynn images so as not to offend anyone and those were the PG-13 versions. they aren't crucial for the storyline but they are handy to use since they will be on the site and i can simply attach them from here instead of manually doing it every time i make a new journal entry for the wilmer city diary.

which means i'll have to pick someone else who's not too risque in her dress for the new NPC that i want to introduce for wilmer city.


Day 5

made some profiles for the wilmer city diary which are in beta phase right now. will have to add family members to their bio's and a short biography since the average surfer doesn't have the time nor the inclination to read a lengthy page, at least not for now until i get some subscribers who will follow along the story arcs. valentin is going to be essential to the story line and will be more than likely be used in future stories. still working some ideas for the victor character and will have to suspend the rules of reality a bit to make it work but it is a work of fiction so it might be excused.

testing most of the lots to see what will work and what doesn't and will have to use buildingplop to put the growable commercial buildings that won't give me jobs right away through the mayor mode menu (landmarks) ... just wish that some of the landmarks weren't so big but at least i have large city tiles which will work for now. just wish i could make them bigger but i have reached their limit.

will add two more sims to wilmer city who will be male since i have 3 female sims and will introduce a new NPC (female) that will go along w/the valentin story arc and will need lots of pics of her since she will be used in other story lines in other cities.


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