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About this City Journal

My hometown reimagined through the lens of SC4. Stop by on vacation or pull up a chair and stay a while.

Entries in this City Journal


Hopefully I'll be able to satisfy some expectations here in the next few weeks. So I'm in the OSITM over at SC4Devotion this month (April).

One of my biggest issues with the map that I've had lately was my frustration with the coastlines. Currently the land drops very close to the water, particularly near the downtown areas where it makes good seawalls look...well like nothing worth looking at. The other problem I've had is that by default the terrain for beaches would go from 250.4 meters (dry ground) straight to the sea floor at 192 meters, which made using any sort of terraforming tool for nicely sloping beaches essentially impossible. They would always drop to quickly, or else just eat away my land mass, which when trying to develop a city other than Atlantis, is not a good thing. I'd been putting off the inevitable for a while now, but figured this month was as good as any to get started on it.

1.Using the sea level adjustment trick I learned from one of Noahclem's tutorials, I've dropped the sea floor down to around 175m. I'll be doing a bunch of work all around my coasts, but for now, here's a few teaser images of some work I've been doing underwater in Mission Bay:


2.Some prep work for some decent beach slopes:


3.Progress is kind of slow, however:


4.And to finish it off, a pair of images, this time from the community of Mission Hills where I'm having some issues getting my Sims to commute to work in the next tile:





Some replies and more progress will come in the next update, hopefully within a week if all goes as planned. Thanks for stopping by.


Development Update

Hi all,

It's been a busy couple of months, and I've been slowly developing the city, but haven't felt like there was anything really complete to show you, until I remembered that this was a WIP MD, so development pictures were par for the course. I've yet to get around to plopping all of the things that I need to (like the park areas and such), but it's coming along nicely. This will be a very picture heavy update to capture the progress that I've made so far in the areas surrounding the downtown. All overviews are looking north unless otherwise noted. Click on all pictures for full size!

1.First, an overview of the developed portion of the region:


2.We start at the western edge of the city, in Point Loma:


3.Some nice gridbusting, I think. The winding road is CA Rte 209 to the Point Loma lighthouse. Looking north:


4.Downtown Ocean Beach. The businesses are still in development; the farms are primarily job placeholders. The blue trolley line runs in the street by the coast. Looking north:


5.Some less expensive Point Loma homes:


6.A close-up to illustrate some of the variety of the homes that you might find here. They're all custom built, so each house is unique:


7.All of the non-canyon areas will eventually be filled up with residential. Looking north:


8.Skipping over to Lindbergh Field (and passing by West Field, since there's nothing interesting in that community yet), we come across a highway junction, a rail line, and a municipal airport.:


There's also been some heavy work done on highway realignment and restructuring: All facing north.









10.Looking north:


10.5 An absurdly long commuter train. I seriously doubt this train would move very fast in Real Life with that many carriages. The locomotive in question is not particularly noted for being speedy in the first place. The area surrounding it is a definite WIP. Looking south:


11.After our brief drive through Lindbergh Field, we move on to North Park, which, interestingly enough, lies just north of Balboa Park!


There's still a lot of undeveloped land. Mostly it's because I'm wary to use the grid pattern that North Park is comprised of in Real Lifwe, simply because it's uninteresting and not very fun to build on. The main roads are there, and you can see US 395 heading North, while construction of US 80 East is underway; the Texas St overpass has just been finished in this photo. Looking north.

12.A closer shot of some of the development in Hillcrest, which is technically defined as being West of Park Blvd (the northbound avenue on the left), as well as the Red trolley line, which runs north to University Heights and then turns East toward Normal Heights. Looking north.


13.Some of the homes along the cliff that have a view over Mission Valley and out to the ocean, which is but 4 miles west (to the right) as the crow flies. Looking south.


14.Downtown Hillcrest. It's still mostly a WIP, as the development hasn't quite captured the feel I'm going for. You can see the 395 on the right as it goes down the hill, and the RD-4 that goes north is 6th Avenue, which pretty much ends at Washington Ave (east-west). Looking north


15.In Downtown San Diego, progress has been slow, but I have been working on details and controlling development.


Some highway realignment:





17.Some slow progress. It may not look like it, but there is a major rail, highway, and main road realignment present in this image. The slopes were a pain to work with, but it makes a little bit more sense now. The next step will be to work on the waterfront, and finish developing the hills with residential homes. Looking east:


18.Some night shots of downtown to finish off the entry:


19.By the SimFox towers in Bankers' Hill:


20.An industrial sector at nighttime:


21.The Santa Fe train depot at night. The art deco styling really comes out at night.


22.A small mosaic of Little Tokyo. It's not very big, as the Asian communities in San Diego are more "suburban" in nature. We'll be seeing more of them in National City to the south, and in the northeast of San Diego. Looking south:


23.A brief venture into photoediting. I'm not completely satisfied with it, and if I try it again, there are quite a few things I'd change or do differently. Still, it was good practice, though I did spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find example images, mostly with little luck. Any ideas on where to find good example pictures is welcome.


24.Government Center at night:


25.Finally, we'll finish this picture looking down onto Key Tower and the Emerald Towers. It won two rounds in the SC4Devotion Picture Competition (so close to the HoF, too!), and I think it turned out rather nice.



That's a nice-looking railway bridge, furthermore good grid-busting to.


Nice teaser :)

Do you know what's the name of that building that looks like a portal?

I believe that's the Census Repository Building, available somewhere on the STEX (and the LEX, I think). Also, you don't need to comment on all of my CJ outlets, you know (not that I mind, of course :P).


Replies+Teaser (sort of)


Glad to see you here. I look forward to more of your work. I think you are off to a fine start.

Thank you, Bruce.That means a lot coming from you, even if our styles are totally different

Ahhh... San Diego. I was there on vacation, and your San D looks nice.

I like it; it's much nicer in person of course. The sun's a lot brighter in real life here than it is in-game. When, perchance, did you visit?

Very very nice! I like it!

Thanks. You might see a few of your BATs interspersed here and there. I think I have all of them :P

HAHA!! awesome. Im from SD too! you should check out some of the Cj here on SD. I actually tried to do one.....it didn't go so well but I should start up again

Ah, yes, I am familiar, if only after the fact. It was rather excellent, if I recall, save for the lack of updates. Hopefully I can continue this CJ a little bit longer ;)

Nice! I love the downtown area. :D


I'm looking forward to what you come up with - great work so far.

Thanks SimCoug. I doubt it'll approach New Sorgun standards for detail, plops/props, and scenery, but hopefully I can create something worthwhile and still keep some of my hair while I'm at it.

Looking nice so far!

Thanks Will. Hopefully it can stay that way!

And a few pictures to top it off. Hopefully this can provide a general direction of things to come.





Hi everyone,

So this is my foray into MDing/CJing. Good to be here, though I must say this is mainly to force myself to get in the habit of preparing stuff for display.

First things first...

I'm playing on a map of San Diego, CA (surprise, surprise ;D), made by the NHP and blade2k5. I think it might be slightly underscaled compared to the practical scaling of the game, but in general I'm very happy with it. Because this is my first MD and because I'm not the most original with names, many will be lifted straight from their real-life counterparts, and will often reflect the real locations in-game. However, the extent with which they match the real world comes to my next point...

This is not a recreation CJ. I will not be attempting to make everything exactly like it is in the real city. Game limitations, personal disagreements with the current city development, and creative factors all play a role. (Plus, what's the point of using the game pics when we can just use the real ones?) Be aware, then, that names may be altered and elements included/removed when compared to the real San Diego (for any who might've been confused by the occasional different name/roadway/etc.)

I will also be building this region as we go along. Many parts of the city are not finished, and may show up from time to time in the pictures. I've noticed that my play style has changed as I've found this site and been exposed to both custom content as well as the way other users play the game. I try to make every city functional, though I will be using the occasional cheat lot for purposes of aesthetic. I want to be able to adapt and adjust my building style as we go along, hopefully with your help. I unfortunately have no time for both an MD and modding, so none (or very little) of that will be seen here, but hopefully you can give me vital feedback about the project as a whole and maybe even make some decisions about how certain parts of the city develop.

Enough about what this MD isn't. First, some pics. Most pics are available in full size. Just click!

1. Old city hall. Now it's used by the county for paper pushing, and is a popular place for business lunches due to the park and the bay that's directly in front of the building (not shown).


Click here for a Z5 mosaic (warning 4mb 3880x2150 res)

EDIT: Some doofus (me) turned Low City Detail on by mistake and then saved the city that way. The MMP trees are now gone. :(

2. Key Tower, the second tallest building in the city. It was built amidst much controversy, but we'll discuss that later.

You can see the Emerald Towers and the new Government Center towards the right.


3. Highway 395, part of the city-wide scenic route, and very crowded during rush hour. It also happens to run through the San Diego's "Central Park," known as Balboa Park and also home to San Diego's World Famous Zoo.


4. Banker's Hill. This is just north of main downtown, and primarily consists of mid-rises with the occasional high-rise building. An old height restriction for Lindbergh Field to the west and the large number of historic homes under the Mills Act has kept this part of the city mostly flat, especially compared to downtown just a few blocks south.


5. The city has revived steam power on it's commuter rails, and in a joint effort was able to convince the San Diego and Imperial Railway (SDIR) to also use steam engines on it's daytime freight runs. The switch was for a number of reasons, including a need for increased ridership, a large amount of inexpensive regional coal (esp. compared to current diesel prices), the increased tourism draw, and a glut of manual laborers that would be put to work in maintaining the engines. (the lower unemployment rates were what drew the attention of the currently unpopular government) ;)


As a final note, you may have noticed from my previous posts both here on Simtropolis and on SC4Devotion that I suffer from a lack of brevity (wordiness, etc.) Hopefully I will improve this too, as we go along. No sense in being tedious; descriptions should be interesting and informative. Let me know if it's boring.

That's all for now. Next update will be (relatively) soon. Looking forward to your feedback!


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