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About this City Journal

So much time lovingly wasted.

Entries in this City Journal

Lost Realist

Power to the masses.

I still owe you these shots of the Scene Nuclear Power Facility. So many thanks to paeng for always doing these awesome things. The facility was created by using his modular NPP set. I caught myself demolishing it several times, just so I could rebuild it. Enjoy.





Lost Realist

New Scenes.

Hey guys. Sorry I've been inactive for almost two months now. I had a lot of different things in mind that just came ahead against SimCity and so, this CJ died a sudden death.

Then I heard that the new NAM will supposedly be released early March and got really exited, spent some more time on ST again and here I am with some more CJing. I'm incredibly happy to see that people still seemed at least a bit interested in the teaser I posted two days ago and it's great to feel so welcome again. To apologize for the long downtime, I'm packing this post with pictures of a key location in the Distant-Shimmer metropolitan area: The city of Scene.

It's not all done yet, eventually I want it to go up to about 20.000 inhabitants. It lies just east of the Great North-South Highway that starts in Shimmer and will sneak down past Distant and Glowing later on, but I'm giving a lot away that I haven't even done yet. ;)

To the south of it, on the shore of the Distant Pass, the Scene Nuclear Power Facility generates electricity for the two biggest cities of the region within two reactor cores. No pictures of this yet, though. The game crashed when I was just about to start taking those shots, so I'll save them for next time. :P Enjoy what there is and feel free to comment, be it nice words, criticism or suggestions, I look forward to every comment you may have. :)

We'll start out in the heart of Scene. Next to the small train station lies the dazzling Palace of Free Arts, a museum since well over 200 years.



Through the western part of the city, the Scene river, namesake of the city, flows in a canal.


Just south of the Palace of Free Arts, the St. Anskar Hospital.


And for a change of settings, at the far left side of this shot, the Scene River passes the agriculturally developed areas south of Scene.


And more rural feeling.




A smaller military ammunition dump and motor pool in the forests.


And a small glimpse at the facility...


And that's it for today. I hope you don't fret if the next update takes until monday, my weekend will be a busy one.

On a side note, this was my first tile that incorporates a bunch of things I fiddled with in the lot editor. Took me years to find out how that thing works, but it's really worth it.


Thanks for your patience, your interest and, hopefully, your comments.


Lost Realist


Finally! To compensate for the wait, this update is gonna be less to read and more to look at, so I'll just leave you with the pictures and your own judgement. Give yourself a good look at what life is like in the city of Shimmer. :D













Lost Realist

Well damn, two weeks of nothingness have surrounded Distant-Shimmer. I'm very sorry for this long delay, but I'm never too shy to talk myself out of it:

I am at a part of the construction of a city where density is high and development is everywhere. The tight wall-to-wall environment has to be worked on thoroughly and every single tile has to be considered and payed attention to. This is different from the suburban and rural areas I did so far, where most screenshots are 50% buildings and 50% landscape. Not saying that that goes off easier, but it's easier to get away with posting a shot of a mostly undeveloped area than when you're in the middle of your residential downtown.

And I don't have that much time to sink into the game either, I'm lucky to find an hour a day to work on this.

So after all that apologeticism, I humbly present you two blurry pictures of what I will show you in the next, last few days of this year:



No, I don't know why I blurred them. :D

Thank you guys so much for waiting so long, or for looking at my CJ for the first time if that's what you're doing. Just thank you for checking my stuff out. Hang in there, I hope not to disappoint. :)

Lost Realist

A slice of suburbia.

Ah, I love suburbs, I really do. I took you guys into the suburbs of Shimmer last time. Today I went south a little and created a more mixed and intricate piece of the Shimmer suburbs. It's not all that done yet, so not a bunch of pictures, just two so you know what you're in for if you stick around. :)



Still trying to avoid giving in to the grid, which gets harder as density mixes and plannable space becomes less.

Lost Realist

The wait is over.

I've been busy as hell lately, lots of traveling and assignments. I did squeeze in some SC4 every now and then and I collected some shots so I could post a meaningful update with lots of content. So there you go!

I took a break from the rural area to the northwest of the region and started laying out the suburbs of Shimmer, the second largest city in the region.

I'll leave the shots without comment. We're approaching Shimmer from the dense woods to the north, the smaller meadows to the northeast and the agricultural west along the main roads. Tried to blend rural and suburbia together as best as I could.

The suburban sprawl is centered around the crossing of the main north-south and west-east routes with a small commercial center to the northeast of the crossing. I hope you enjoy the shots as much as I enjoyed working on them. :)















I hope this picture-heavy update compensates for the long downtime as much as I hope to avoid such downtimes in the future.

Working with the diagonals was a $%&^! sometimes, especially when that bug came in when I was taking the shots where the transparent base of the diagonal fillers gets black or blue or what. But I think it paid off, the streets really do come alive around the diagonal alleys and I'm happy with the results.

As always, please comment, like, do whatever. :)

Lost Realist

A quick fix.

Contrary to what I expected, I did find the time for some SimCity today, but I didn't finish everything up quite enough to post it yet. I do wanna show you this little overview of the four tiles I've spent time on so far. Feast your eyes!


I think you might recognize where some stuff is. Point is the larger development just west of the small river. Sears is northwest of it, directly northeast of the heartshaped lake.

Yes, it's not much, but something to keep you guys entertained. Or so I hope. :D

Lost Realist

Step by step.

Alrighty, I've been productive today and up right now is a picture-heavy update! And that's a good thing, since looking at stuff is always fun, is it not?

One tile west of Point that I showed you in the last update I started with the terraformed and treed area looking like this:


Ahh, nature at its finest. But nature must bow once again, we people need some roadways:


So that's the basic road layout for the northern part of this tile that I baptized "Sears County". I usually do it this way, placing main roadways first and then letting villages and cities develop along them. Also tried to make this as un-griddy as I could - placing all the smooth street curves into those hillsides took freaking ages. And then I started messing around and turned them into SAM streets later on, so I effectively had to do all of it again... oh god.

But hey, some hours later, Sears village lies in full bloom:


And because why the hell not, some closer looks at it:




Yes, mattb325 is amazing.

And this CJ would be jack bollocks if it weren't for his wunderful lots.

So to finish it all up and establish some context for Sears again, here is another overview after everything I did today:


Thanks for stopping by!

Also thanks to everyone who commented or will comment at some point, be it good or critical, I'm up for anything. And thanks to all the people who "inspire" me if you will, wether they know it or not, there are a lot of them.

More to come sooner than later! I'll hop in a train and go on a ride tomorrow, so there won't be too much time for content, but there is a sunday and university is going to be rather bearable on me next week; I'm amped to find more time for my little thing I got going here. :)

Lost Realist

That's the Point.

Haha, puns.

Okay, this is the city of Point that I mentioned in the last entry, a small town of about 10.000 inhabitants. I hope you guys enjoy this as much as some of you seemed to enjoy the more rural things, I'm really glad to hear all these kind things of you. :)

[sorry for the leftovers of the pause frame in the two pictures. Just saw it when uploading them and it's kinda late so I don't feel I could be bothered to edit and re-upload them. Sorry, again.]

Some scenerey on the road from the southeastern farmlands, going west into the residential areas of Point...


Until we arrive at Point. These are the eastern residences, with their windy, curvy roads. The city, being situated in such a heavily forested area also comes very "green" and has forests cutting into it at some places.


Going only a bit further southwest, the two lakes seperate the main city from a small settlement seen to the south. Between the lakes and to the north of them lies the Point City Asylum for Mental Health, surrounded by woods.


Moving further north again, the northern seams of the city bear home to one of the largest manufacturers of agricultural tools and vehicles in the Distant-Shimmer area. Visible directly to the west of it is the city's center and its iconic water tower, erected in the 18th century and the main driving force behind the residential developments in this area.


And to finish off our little journey, we find ourselves at the southeastern brink of Point, again saturated with dense woods. Here lies the Point elementary school that serves a large portion of the general region around this city.


And that is already it for today! I hope you like what you see and do leave me a comment on what's nice, what blows and whatnot. I'm at my "old home" this weekend so to speak and I've got lots of time off, so it will not be long until the next instalment comes along. :)

Lost Realist

Rural dreaming.


I took the advice I've been getting and started looking into the rural development of the area I've been working on.

Not much to say about this update, I guess I'll just leave you with the pictures for now.

By the way, this area is the northwesternmost area of the region, centered around the small town "Point" that I will hopefully get to show you soon.


I really wanted to use the SPAM canals, but they were missing pieces to go up inclines, so I stuck with the BSC set for now. I also think that because of its base texture, it is a nice seperation between two farming spaces.


Using the SAM dirt paths for added effect.


And some SPAM eyecandy.


Lots and lots of it.

I got the rest of the day off, so maybe I'll get another update in by tonight. Until then, enjoy. :)

Lost Realist

Loving Detail.

Hey yeah, it's me again.

Took me a bit longer than I thought it would to find some time for SC4 again, but now that I did, I did some stuff I really wanna share.

After some people suggested on my last CJ that i go into detail a bit more, especially concerning the environment, I thought it'd be time to try and do that.

I was surprised to find how many awesome tree models I have...

So I did some further terraforming, placed some points of interest here and there and treed another tile.


And maybe my standards have changed, but I thought this could look a lot better. So about an hour later, I looked at the results:


Oh, sweet! I went on a little bit and placed a quaint little village into the area.


Took me about two hours, but looking at the pictures right now is a very rewarding feeling. I might just be a bit proud of this.


So after this place was finished, I couldn't help but keep on going.

The tile directly north of this one was next up to be terraformed, so I started doing that again, here's what it looked like after the geography was done:


The little river took me quite a while to get right, I relayed it multiple times until I found it looked nice enough for my taste. Next come basic trees and forests. And clouds. Clouds have to be there when I'm taking screenshots.


And next I dragged a road through the tile, added diversity to the forests and some scenery to the river...


And then I called it a day!

I realize this might be kind of a lackluster amount of detail and effort for many of the more experienced of you out there, just by looking at some of your CJs I guess it would be stupid to assume that mine was in any way outstanding, but for me, spending so much time on the little things is a step into a direction I haven't been in so far. I always kinda assumed that working with the mayor-mode trees and suchlike would be incredibly tedious, and it is sometimes, but the reward you get when looking at the results makes more than up for it.

So, until next time.

Oh, wait: if there's any suggestions about the look, feel or maybe realism aspects, feel free to hit me, I'm always glad to get some contribution. :)

Lost Realist

New Terrain.

Hi, again.

After sadly I couldn't continue my project back this summer, I started something different this time and I hope I will be able to carry it on with you guys. You were really nice to me the first time around and I thank you for that, so I'm optimistic all will be great once again.

The ground rules are simple: This is a huge region. I did the config.bmp thing rather late at night and my memory kinda erased it I guess, but I think this is a 12x22 Quad region. Okay, compared to other projects like 3RR that's a lame fart, but for me it's a pretty large thing do be dealing with.

Next, terraforming is done all by hand, without external programs. I'd love to say I do this because I like the challenge, the authenticity of such a large project, but the actual reason would be that the terraformer doesn't run on my system. Should I not have disclosed it that way? Damnit.

And then, for all the purists out there: I will cheat the living hell out of the game, pretty much disabling funding and giving me money as much as I want. Yeah, I'm sorry, but there's no way I'm trying to create a beautiful, realistic region while being limited to the gameplay mechanics. I don't wanna do that.

Now, to at least put some meat on this first post's bones: I started terraforming yesternight in the northernmost corner of the region. There is a handdrawn map of what the region is supposed to end up looking one day that I will scan sometime in the near future. Until then, feast your eyes.

It came up a little bit in my last CJ, but I thought I'd just get a little more specific about the way I usually terraform when there's no particular landscape layout I have in mind, 'cause I thought I found a pretty nifty trick to create rolling, random hills and appealing terrain.

I start by dropping large parts of the area I wanna terraform below water level.


And then use the hill tools to take it back up again:


This creates some pretty random hillsides and valleys and saves a lot of time in terraforming. You can take it as it is or you can do some retouching on the landscape to make it fit your desires even more. I smoothened everything up a little bit aaaaand:


Neat. Also started treeing it already:


There are some rules on how trees would grow in a real environment that I keep in the very back of my head, but in general, I just zoom in, start treeing and let the terrain lead me a bit, like I'm using a brush to accentuate (is that a word? I think it might not be) the terrain.

So yeah, that's tile number one, I also already did another rather unspectacular tile directly to the south of it:


And then that's all for now.

I have terriblie loading times at the moment, game startup takes over 5 freaking minutes for some reason and then there's also some resolution issues ruining everyone's party in the game, so those are issues to be fixed, but I'll get back to this as fast as I can. Yay!


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