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About this City Journal

Bringing the Plains to Life

Entries in this City Journal


Welcome to Bigelow, just named Simolay's City of the Year.


EDITOR'S NOTE: New to Simtropolis posting, I am clueless as to how to post pictures properly. What you see is a relatively tiny shot of Bigelow Mansion, the historic home of city founder J.L. Bigelow. If anyone could tell me how to post pictures full-size, and put them where I want them within the text, such assistance would be greatly appreciated!


Bigelow is a city of approximatey 30,000. Just north of the regional capital of Virginia City, Bigelownians can enjoy all the cultural venues and activites the capital has to offer without suffering any of its big city problems.

As a mecca for high-priced lawyers (it is considered the legal capital of Condorosa) and tony financiers, perhaps the most stunning aspect of Bigelow is its wealth. The average family income is a whopping $200K a year! There are twice as many high-income jobs as low-and-middle income vocations combined. And with more good jobs than there are residents, Bigelow sees plenty of commuters daily from surrounding areas.

Regional government officials and independent surveys rate Bigelow's quality of life excellent in virtually all areas -- including public safety, healthcare facilities, schools, parks-and-recreational activities. The only significant chronic complaint is traffic, the bane of urban existence, which is occasionally heavy but generally flows smoothly.

The tax burden -- 7.9% for most entities -- is approximately 12% lower than the national average.

Pictures to come, when the tech-challenged editorial staff receives proper assistance. :)


Greetings from Virginia City, capital city of the mythical Region of Condorosa. Before leaving the "real world" entirely to examine the alternate reality of my booming province on the Plains, I think an introduction is in order.

I played the original Sim City, then the 2000 version, and have been playing SC4 since it was introduced to me in 2010. My wife, demanding I pay her more attention, called it a "stupid game." She obviously did not properly appreciate a role as Mayor's (or Governor's) First Lady. Alas, she is no longer part of my life. But SC4 is.

As I assume to be the case with most of you, I was much anticipating the arrival of SC 2013 -- the city specialization and sharing of resources, the curvy roads, all of it. And as I also assume to be the case with many, if not most, of you, I found SC 2013 to be a crashing (literally as well as figuratively) disappointment. Even if the always-online requirement hadn't been such a hassle, even if the servers had been dependable, even if my work hadn't mysteriously disappeared, I still wouldn't like it. I find myself actually feeling motion sickness trying to navigate the screen. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the city plots are far too small. And as has been pointed out elsewhere as well, the art is a bit cartoonish. I'm into realism. So it was back to old friend SC4 for me.

For the last several weeks, I have been building the 3.1 million resident mega-region of Condorosa, "bringing life to the plains" in the form of 50 cities, towns, and farming hamlets ranging in population from almost 1 million to fewer than 200. I hesitated to journalize about this effort because virtually every CJ I see here includes imaginative, artistic, even magnificent content -- aided in some cases by expert photoshopping and tons of STEX downloads. But I was inspired by the city journals created by "Paletexan," especially Vicivitas and Carthage (Google them sometime; it's worth it). Paletexan did such fun stuff despite using essentially only the most basic version of the game. I can't compete with him either in terms of maps etc., but I can do my thing.

See, I'm at least as interested in how my cities and regions work as I am in how they look. I'm particularly fond of testing the effects of different political philosophies. For example, in Condorosa, I have a more "socialist" city called Jamestown, which emphasizes government services and imposes a rather stiff progressive tax structure to pay for it all. Next door, the libertarian city of Brewster offers only the most basic services, and the tax burden is only about 1/3 the SC4 "average" of 9%. Both cities are thriving, thank you.

So stay tuned. More to come, in words and pictures. And thanks for listening.



Governor of Condorosa


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