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About this City Journal

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Blazerhawk

Replies

  • Thanks to everyone who replied and/or read this journal.

  • mb1.0.2- Thank you. Industrial districts are tricky. I would recommend the IRM (with industrial job multiplier) and some of the SC4D Industirals. Unfortunately, industrial can be very hard to BAT, so it tends to lack content.
  • tankmank- Thanks. I have a bit of a preview, though this one will take some time to finish.
  • juliok92012- Thank you.
  • NielsC007- Thank you.
  • Schriefer- Thank you.
  • a_muses- Thank you. Coherent regions are usually what I build for.
  • _marsh_- Thank you. Nice tag line idea.


So, RL sidelined this update a little longer than I had intended. No need to worry, though I am back and should be able to return to my regular schedule now.

Today, I'm showing off the first work on the Bella Vista CBD. Some of this is in a very raw state, so I apologize in advance for the empty tiles and missing details in some of these images. We'll start with a general overview of the area.

CBDOverview.jpg

As you can see all of the development so far has been concentrated to the north of the interchange I featured last time. This interchange marks the end of two major highways and provides a great divider bewtween the residential on the hill and the CBD in the flats.

RodewayArms.jpg

The residential district to the west is built on the northern slope of mountain. This makes development particularly difficult, so much of this area is medium density structures housing a variety of people. These

apartments right here offer some of the cheapest housing in this part of town for obvious reasons.

NearWestPlaza.jpg

The closer to downtown you get, the denser the blocks become. This particular block is a favorite of mine because of its non-standard shape and general cohesiveness.

BeachfrontTowers.jpg

Down toward the water front the land is more level. This allows me to develop these lovely towers the overlook the ocean. The area behind these has not yet been developed.

MidnightOnMonroe.jpg

Across the highway, the office towers begin to rise. This area is one of the first areas of the CBD that I could call finished.

JamesTCookPark.jpg

One of the things any downtown area needs is a park or two to stretch in. This admittedly small and empty park is bordered by some gigantic apartment complexes.

WatermarkHotel.jpg

I had no idea this building was lurking in my plugin files. Definitely, enjoyed seeing it though.

BellaVistaLights.jpg

Finally, this is why I love building downtown areas. There is not photo editing here, and only two of the buildings (the hospital and The Shard) were plops. This night view is one of the best I've ever made.

That is all for this week. Until next time...

Blazerhawk

Replies

  • Thanks to everyone who replied and/or read this journal. We were number 5 in the CJ section this week.

  • Richie 99- Thank you. That stadium is one of my favorite BATs.
  • sarthakknight- Thanks. I agree some photoshop might help, but I kind of like the natural look.
  • tankmank- Thanks. Interestingly, the overall population density didn't really change that much. Probably a result of the removal of the industrial district.
  • kschmidt- Thank you.
  • Ln X- Thanks. This region is very fun to work with.
  • nos.17- Thanks. I will probably add some foliage whenever I work with that tile next.
  • IRE505- Both of those apartment buildings can be found here on the STEX. The curvy one is called New College Apartments and the more traditional apartment block is the Crumbly Arms. I would also recommend TWrecks Low Wealth Mega Lots that take advantage of these.
  • jmsepe- Thank you. Took a while to write.
  • naterboy8796- The University set can be found at sc4devotion.com. It is the University of Clayhurst Pack.
  • Titanicbuff-Thank you.


Well this week didn't go quite as I had hoped. My plan had been to start working on the CBD, but I soon realized I didn't have enough "feeder tiles" to make it work. So instead I ended up working on various projects to set up these demand feeders. This largely meant finding good places for residential development that would entail a minimum of office jobs. Meanwhile, I continued work on Rock Island. I ended up zeroing out my industrial demand so things are kind of slow until I can fire that up again. Needless to say, this update will be a little scattered.

Let's start with some ground work in the CBD. The primary challenge to development is the massive mountain on this tile. It effectively bottleneck all my development on Zatarain Island through this area. Developing this without smashing the terrain too badly is a bit of challenge.

TunnelVision.jpg

This interchange serves as the terminus for two highways, and it turned out beautifully. Both highways become major surface streets in the CBD. This interchange also serves as a nice focal point for the tile.

CentralInterchange.jpg

If we continue west along the highway we come to the previously unterraformed tile of Gateway Island. This bridge connects Gateway Island to the CBD. Also, you can see I have done some MMP work on this tile.

GatewayBridge.jpg

Continuing west we reach this Partial Y. The highway splitting off here is a bypass that will cut around the CBD from the north. As it is intended solely as a bypass, this highway has no direct access to the CBD.

BypassStart.jpg

Finally, this diveging diamond gives access to the one of the "feeder tiles." As this is part of the City of Bella Vista I hestitate to call it a suburb, but that's essentially what it is. And before you ask, the highway walls are of my own design. They just need some modding before I upload them to the STEX.

SuburbanDD.jpg

Over on Rock Island the population has exploded past 100000. This has largely been the result of some larger apartment blocks taking hold. This one looks especially nice.

PauperPlaza.jpg

This area is perhaps a little dense, but I think it looks good. Also, these guys REALLY like basketball.

TopFloorTenements.jpg

Rock Island is a low wealth district, but it is not a slum. That can sometimes be a challenge in Sim City, but what I try to do is find buildings like this that look good and would actually blend in in a less restricted environment. They also have a very nice shape to them which I appreciate.

TheTriadTowers.jpg

The Port of Rock Island has continued to grow. Anchor buildings like this make industrial zones so much easier.

StratigenBiotech.jpg

Any port worth its salt has a nice set of container ship loading cranes. Wonder what's in those crates.

LoadingDock.jpg

And of course, sometimes things just work out right and you get perfect development like this.

Dockside.jpg

Here is the region as it stands currently.

Region11.jpg

Quick programming note...

I will likely be taking a short hiatus after next weeks update. I am moving and so there is a lot to be done that week.

That is all for this week. Until next time...

Blazerhawk

Replies

  • Thanks to everyone who replied and/or read this journal.

  • LN X- Thank you. I really like the sandstone.
  • Benedict- Thanks. The islands are hand-terraformed for the most part. It's to hear they look good.


Sorry about not updating last week. RL just got in my way. Anyway, to make it up here is the largest update I have ever done.

Last week I was going to feature Dover Island which is almost 100% complete. I just have some areas I need to touch up and that casino resort to BAT. Since Dover Island is mostly a high wealth suburb, I also included some landscape shots of the island.

TheWall.jpg

This lovely cliff is one of many reminders of Dover Island geological history. The Wall, as its known by the locals, is a pure granite cliff approximately 200 ft. tall, It is thought to be the edge of one of the islands last major volcanic eruptions, estimated to have occurred 40,000 years ago.

TheLedge.jpg

Time has worn away the islands western coast, resulting in a many rocky outcroppings like this. These outcroppings are popular with rock climbers despite being very dangerous.

HillsideSubdivision.jpg

The cliffs of Dover Island provide a dramatic backdrop to the homes on the island. This particular subdivision is one of the most expensive areas of Bella Vista with home prices averaging seven figures. Of course, if you're rich enough to live here, all you care about is the beautiful views and relative privacy.

CliffParkSubdivision.jpg

Another of Dover Island's cliffside subdivisions. These homes back up to the Dover Island Forest and are actually closer to downtown Bella Vista.

SuburabanSt.jpg

Dover Island is definitely a nice break from the crowded streets of Bella Vista. Many people visit the Island just to get out of the city for a little while. Those who love here have the luxury of living in one of the most secluded urban neighborhoods in the city.

MordakiExhibitionCenter.jpg

Dover Island does house two very important Bella Vista landmarks, however. This is the Heinrick G. Mordaki Exhibition Hall. The Mordaki Exhibition Hall is home to the Bella Vista symphony orchestra, as well as many concerts and conventions. It is well known for its unusual appearance as well as its cultural signifcance.

HamiltonSchoolofFineArts.jpg

This is the Hamilton School of Fine Arts, the nation's most prominent boarding school. As its name suggests many of the students here will go on to be artists, though some go here because there parents see this school as a status symbol. While most of the students are on scholarship, a few have parents wealthy enough to afford the schools $20,000 a year tuition. Oddly, this tends to work against them in this school as the other students tend to feel they have not earned the right to attend.

Now we move north to Zatarain Island. This island has been completely redeveloped to lower the density just a bit. Also this allowed me to attempt to develop the island without the stage constraints that had held the first iteration back.

ZatarainPark.jpg

This is one of the biggest changes to Zatarain Island. Zatarain Park is larger than the two or three parks in the previous iterations. It's also far more open in terms of its layout. It also borders the new Merlin Business District, which has been concentrated to give the residential spaces more elbow room.

ZatarainAvenue.jpg

Zatarain Island remains a crowded district, though it is a different type of crowded. The previous version had, in my eyes looked cramped and awkward. This version is more natural and just feels cleaner.

WesternShoreSt.jpg

The western shore of Island recieved the biggest drop in density. This area was previously dominated by towering residential condos. Now rowhouses and midrise apartment constitue the same area. I'm sure the residents would agree that is a much better situation.

CentralAvenueLofts.jpg

Also, motivating the rebuild was my desire to add these beautiful condo buildings. These look so much better for the tropical setting, than the New York blocks that I had been using.

ArkhamAvenue.jpg

Of course, expanding the space for the residents meant, shrinking the business district. That actually turned out to be a great change. as the increased density allowed me to sculpt the area more to my liking. This shot is one of my favorites because of how the buildings frame that small plaza.

MerlinCourtApartments.jpg

The other advantage of completely rebuilding Zatarain Island is that I was able to change the use of Isla Verde (previously Blackstone Island). This area had been an industrial district before, but with Rock Island now shouldering that load it became much more useful. These apartments actually stand in what used to be an industiral wasteland.

WrightStadium.jpg

This area had previously been a messy collection of apartment buildings. Now it's home to Wright Stadium, the home of the Bella Vista Islanders (Soccer/Futbol), the Destoryers (American Football), and the Wave Riders (Ultimate). These three teams represent some of the nation's best athletes and thousand descend on the area during gameday. Since the World Cup is currently taking place, fans are enjoying watching the Wave Riders go for their second league title.

BlackstonePoint.jpg

Just to the east of the stadium we have another small business district. This area is known as the Parkland Business district, due to its proximity to the Verde Bay Park. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish the whole park for this update, but rest assured you'll see it soon enough.

ApartmentLiving.jpg

As we head a little further north we have some more condos. As we are nearing the CBD these buildings are a little taller than those on Zatarain Island.

ZatarainIslandMap.jpg

Because of the new structure of the islands, and because I'm a bit of a map junkie, I put together this map of the Bella Vista subway system. Stops are not marked at present and this is just a first effort.

Region10.jpg

Finally, here is the most recent region shot. Please ignore the unrendered tiles as they have not been terraformed and are just placeholders at the moment.

Thank you for reading. Until next time.

Blazerhawk

Replies

  • Thanks to everyone who replied and/or read this journal. Number 4 on this weeks BTT +10.
  • Also, thanks for the comments and view, we hit 5000 views and 50 comments this last week. You guys certainly help keep this going.

  • City_Master- Thank you. Maybe a tad bit unrealistic but it definitely gives it a more tropical feel.
  • LN X- Thank you. Hopefully I can continue to make the cities look as good.
  • fan o SC4-Thank you. I've tried urban before, but I've never really focused on the areas outside the city too much. That's half the goal here.
  • dabadon-Thank you.
  • NetoDari- Thank you.
  • Richie99- Thank you. I'm glad it turned out as well as it did.
  • sarthakknight -Thanks. I use the IRM, although I also mix it with a CAM simulator. I think that gives the best industrial areas.


Sometimes you just want to get away. I had that thought a couple of times this week. Even though the region is approaching the 200,000 sim mark (currently about 400 short), development has felt a little slow lately. Part of that has been wrestling with the simulator (a lot) to get certain areas to look right. Other parts of it have been trying to get appropriate custom content for the cities. And, of course, real life is always a pain. This update is definitely more of work in progress than some of the previous ones.

Let's start with a region shot. As you can see development has started on the southwest tile. That is also where I am focusing this week,

Region8.jpg

You may be able to make out a couple of larger buildings on the island in that region shot. These hotels are a key feature of Dover Island, which is pretty much a tourist trap. The islands commercial center, located on the northern edge of the island, is home to many eclectic shops and clubs.

TheTouristTrap.jpg

One of the area's that is very much a work in progress is that weird eastern flat. Eventually it will be dominated by a large casino/resort (I've started the BAT work on that). This isthmus provides for a pair of smaller resort hotels.

ResortHotels.jpg

When I was terraforming this, these two features stood out to me. I kind of like how they just tangentially connect to the island, and give it alot more character.

KarmaRock.jpg

MermaidsRise.jpg

This island is home to another small park. I especially like this one, though the image doesn't make it as obvious that it sits atop a small hill. This also separates the tourist trap from the suburban development on the island.

VictoryPark.jpg

The rest of the island is a haven for the rich citizens of Santa Bella. Close enough to the city to still have subway access, yet secluded enough to avoid the traffic. Home's on the island start at 750k and go up from there. Living here is definitely a bit of a status symbol thing. Of course, about ten percent of the homes on the island are owned by vacationers who visit the area frequently.

Suburb2.jpg

Suburb1.jpg

That's all for this week's update. I've been thinking about doing a couple of story updates using stuff not from SC4. I'd like to get your opinions about that so see the poll to let me know what you think. Until next week.

Blazerhawk

Replies

  • Thanks to everyone who replied and/or read this journal. Number 7 on this weeks BTT +10.

  • tankmank- Thank you. I really like modern looks, but every city needs its older buildings.
  • LN X- Thank you. Draggable FAR has been a lifesaver.
  • Richie 99-Thank you.
  • sarthakknight-Thank you. The map is just hand terraformed using a combination of SC4 Terraformer and the game itself.
  • Jimmy Buzaid- Thank you. At the moment I have no plans for farming communities, though this has more to do with working close to the CBD of the city than anything else.
  • TheHaso2011- Thank you. This is perhaps my favorite type of city to build, precisely because it's nothing like any place I've ever lived.

I started working on the port. That of course led me to want to develop this city, so after 6 updates in the same tile we are transitioning to a new tile. Welcome to Rock Island.

RockIsland.jpg

Rock Island is a major port for the nation. Its prime location in the Sterling Islands, combined with natural shielding provided by the region's geography, have led to the sprawling port. Many companies operate warehouses or factories here, taking advantage of the ample work force of Bella Vista.

ShippingCenter.jpg

The port is large enough that Bella Vista has dedicated a significant portion of its police force to securing the area. The Rock Island Port Authority employs over 1000 residents of Bella Vista. The simple headquarters is one of the few landmarks on Rock Island. Despite the buildings impressive size a number of smaller buildings are associated with the Port Authority.

PortAuthority.jpg

The noise created by the port and the smell of the industries in the area has seriously lowered property values on Rock Island. A lot of the residents here could not afford to live anywhere else in the city. This area is by no means a slum or ghetto. It instead is often described as a great island for those just starting out.

RockIslandAvenue.jpg

Housing the island ranges from denser row houses and large apartment buildings closer to the port to suburban housing on the island's rocky eastern coast. These aprartments are typical of what one might find near the port.

TropicCircle.jpg

Of course, if the W2W world doesn't appeal you can always find an home in the park like apartment complexes spread across the island. These apartments are particularly popular with young families. The average of age at this particular complex is 28.

TheInnerSuburbs.jpg

Rock Island is also popular with people looking for paradise on a budget. The average house on Rock Island sells for $200k, and some of these boast better amenities and view than home costing three times as much on other islands. Rymer's Bluff is one such neighborhood. The average home here sells for $175K, but features the privacy of a cul-de-sac with the awesome views from Rock Island's eastern coastline.

RymersBluff.jpg

That's all for this week. Thank you for reading.

Blazerhawk

Night Rider

Replies

  • Thanks to everyone who replied and/or read this journal.

  • Richie99- Well, its more like beating that simulator into submission. If it was obedient things would be so much easier.
  • vuWIN- Thank you.
  • UndercoverNinja12-Thank you.
  • sarthakknight-Thank you. I appreciate the link, though most of those don't fit my style very.
  • Vitor13- Thank you.
  • EMarshall- Thank you.
  • Xyloxadoria- Thank you. To be fair, in this city beach front property probably describes a quarter to a third of buildings. Yours got that placement largely because it isn't excessively tall, and that was about the only place I could put it.

The development here has been largely focused on Zatarain Island until now. One of the reasons for this is that I hadn't needed to expand northward for much yet. The other is that what was up north was a sorry looking industrial area. This last week I decided to shift focus from the slow changes to Zatarain Island to show the expansion of the city. Welcome to Blackstone Island.

Blackstone Island started out as an industrial park. These are areas I tend not to show because they are very hard to get right, and very frequently look horribly repetitive. I also was lacking in custom industrial buildings which meant the area was almost exclusively Maxis garbage lots. That being said, after downloading TWrecks' IRM the area actually looks presentable.

IndustrialPark.jpg

This happens to be one of my favorite industrial buildings. I'm a bit of a sucker for the futuristic look of it. The area around it developed quite nicely, too.

BlackstoneLabs.jpg

Blackstone Island is home to many small companies, primarily R&D firms. Prominent among these is Blackstone Scientific Research. This company specializes in high-end robotics production and development. Rumor has it that they are expected to make a big announcement soon.

As the city expanded this area also afforded a chance to offload some low wealth residential development. This type of development tends to get crowded out of my cities, mostly thanks to the development simulator. To combat this I usually end up with areas that are primarily low wealth residents and industry. Blackstone Island is another of those areas, though not to the extent that I have had in the past.

TheCourts.jpg\

Now that I had residential on the Island, it needed some sort of buffer zone. I also need some more open spaces in the city. Thus, to create this buffer zone, I gave Blackstone Island the largest park in the city to this point. While this isn't a huge park by any measure, I like it because of its simplicity.

BlackstonePark.jpg

Meanwhile, Zatarain Island continues to develop nicely. I don't have much else to say so here we go.

StreetsofZatarain.jpg

ZatarainLanding.jpg

TheTowers.jpg

OldOffices.jpg

I have reached the point where regional development has become necessary. This will primarily be so that I can offload some of the industrial demand. If you look closely at region shot you can see the beginnings of a port on the eastern island (currently unnamed). That southern island will eventually become a more suburban type area for the rich folks in town. None of this means that I will be spending less effort on perfecting each tile, but rather it means that I will now be jumping between tiles from time to time.

Region1.jpg

That's all for now. Thanks for reading.

Blazerhawk

Replies

  • Thanks to everyone who replied and/or read this journal.

  • Richie99- The number of times I wanted to kill the development simulator. NO THAT BUILDING GOES TWO BLOCKS OVER!!! :rage: Sorry.
  • Vitor13- Well, if it looked bad I wouldn't be showing it now would I.
  • slickbg56-Yes Sir. Gotta say as its the southernmost urban island it feels very appropriate.
  • sarthakknight-Yeah, I'll admit it needs some more open spaces. The trouble is it really has two fairly sizeable parks already and there just isn't a whole lot of room. As to seawalls, this island is actually high enough to not really need them, and I tend to reserve those for use in industrial areas (which aren't a big thing in this particular tile).
  • elpibedelobo- Thanks. Unfortunately, I'm not fluent in Spanish so I had to run your response through Google translate. The way to make those row house blocks is to zone 1x2 blocks of medium residential alternating with 1x2 blocks of unzoned land. Then when one of the rowhouses you want develops make it historical. Fill in the empty 1x2 blocks when all of its neighbors are historical. Demolish any building you don't want. It will take a while but eventually the whole block will be historical. I'll probably whip a full tutorial at a later date.


100,000 :party:. Yes the Bella Vista Islands just passed the 100,000 sims mark. Things are starting to heat up on the development front, and now is a good time to mention that I'm starting to think about the next few tiles. Not to get ahead of myself, but rather so I have a plan when that time comes. In the meantime, I still need to some heavy lifting in this tile. After all, my roads are overcrowded and my mass transit is next to non-existent. Well, there's next weeks update.

Part of the reason my roads are straining is that they have to deal with the increasing density of the areas around them. This area has grown up quite nicely, but as you can see it would definitely be a busy area of town. Good news, the area pictured is nearly 100% finalized. Bad news, that's when things usually get really tricky.

PalmCourt.jpg

Increasing density means that parks tend to stand out more. Though I still need to rework the diagonal edge of this park, you can see that is becoming more of the urban oasis I had intended.

Parkside.jpg

The downside of all the diagonals in town is that they can be very difficult to develop properly. Add in some terrain and you could have a real nightmare. Or you could end with something like this. This area is adjacent to the high school I showcased a couple weeks back. As development finalizes I'm adding in mmp's to finish off these areas.

Southridge.jpg

I'd probably be a bit further along if I hadn't let my Mid-wealth demand get capped. Of course doing so has its benefits. It certainly makes it easier to develop the low wealth areas of my city, something which generally gets crowded out. With demand for the middle class capped, these types of areas can be built with relative ease.

BrickCity.jpg

As I noted above the city needs more open spaces. Finding places for them can be a bit of chore though. Then there are time when you see a building like this that absolutely begs to be an anchor for a large plaza. Part of me likes this building so much because, as a bit of superhero geek, it looks like something you'd see in a superhero video game. Now I just need to finish this area with some plaza lots.

TheGlassBox.jpg

The glass box, so called by the public, is home to the BellaVista PD First Precinct. Covering most of Zatarain Island, the First Precinct is one of the most advanced in the city. The First Precinct is lead by Lt. David Waller, a man who believes that this cutting edge technology is required to protect the streets. Criminals on Zatarain Island often use the tight corridors to lose the cops, but working to improve security camera coverage across the island has made the First Precinct one of the safest in Bella Vista.

Okay, that's all for this update. Like I said next week will likely focus on improving the mass transit system. I'd also like to get your opinion on what the next tile should be. The idea I have is that the city continues to the North with CBD on a larger island. To the south, I'm thinking about some suburb type islands. To the east is likely going to be water with a couple of uninhabited islets. To the west, we would likely have some larger islands, some developed some not. Which direction would you prefer to see first?

Until next time...

ZatarainIsland5.jpg

Blazerhawk

Replies

  • Thanks to everyone who replied and/or read this journal. We made number 8 in the CJ Section last week. Thank you

  • Ln X- Thank you.
  • Roman_Samudra- Organic road structures always look better, don't they. Thank you.
  • sarthakknight-Thank you. Definitely going for that modern vibe.
  • Map Guy-Thank you. Every time I try a large flat map it saps my inspiration, so this is kind of necessary.
  • daTSchikinhed- Those parks are some of my favorites, too. Also, thanks for the suggestion. I wasn't necessarily looking for a name for the chain, but it works.
  • rewright-Yep. No reason in forceful terraforming when curving roads will do the trick. Thank you, NAM.
  • Vitor13-Thank you.
  • Slickbg56-Thank you. I really like that name, so congratulations, you've named the island.


Well, RL slowed me down a bit. First, I didn't have access to my computer last weekend, though, I had anticipated that. What I had not anticipated was that I had absolutely no mid-level custom content. This meant that I had to spend quite a bit of time this last week downloading various buildings for my city. Thus, this update got delayed a little bit.

The whole concept I had started this city with was that it would be a tropical version of Manhattan. This obviously means wall-to-wall development will be necessary. Unfortunately, the Maxis development simulator hate W2W with a passion. I mean it usually takes twenty or so game years to develop an area this size with low or high density buildings. But, this block right here took 100 in game years to develop. It should go without saying that I think the result was worth it.

ModernComfort.jpg

Of course, once I downloaded some custom W2W buildings the development sped up considerably. That being said the block to the left took just as long as the one to the right.

ParkPlace.jpg

I also look for eye catching midrises that work well. It is especially helpful when these midrises also fill a void in your city. In the case of this building, it serves as a low wealth market, which is great considering how few buildings there are of that type. The fact that it doesn't look like a total dump is a bonus.

RockIslandMarket.jpg

Likewise, this hotel is an absolute gem. I still need to work on this area, but now it has an anchor.

BeachfrontHotel.jpg

The good news is that development has reached the point where I can get the larger buildings I'm going for. Of course now the challenge is patience. Still, Zatarain Island is coming along nicely, with a popoaltion of roughly 40000 sims.

Progess.jpg

That's all for this week. Thanks for reading.

Blazerhawk

Building Parking

Replies

  • Thanks to everyone who replied and/or read this journal. We made number 10 in the CJ Section last week. Thank you.

  • 89James89- Thank you. I like working with bridge landings because they can give so much character to city.
  • Roman_Samudra-Actually, that island is unlikely to be developed. The other island on this map on the other hand...
  • sarthakknight-Thank you.
  • Ln X-Thank you. Given how hard those are to build it's always nice when they turn out nicely.
  • Borgmästarjojje-I haven't played that game. Though, I will say that looks very much like what I am going for.
  • jmsepe-Thanks. I like to use MMPs to customize the coastlines and parks, less so for other purposes.
  • Schriefer-Thank you.
  • Benedict-Yeah, changed the name because I was tired of crushedcar. Not surprising as I chose that for the EA site about 10 years ago.


This update is why I changed the way I was doing things. Normally, I would not have done an update that featured so many unfinished areas, but that often lead to the decline of my Journals. Instead, I am focusing on what is done, and showcasing that. This is going to be helpful as at the moment my city's population is a relatively low 7000; far below what is needed for the larger mid-rises and skyscrapers I'm going for.

We'll start with the most complete area on the island at the moment. This park is one I made in an attempt to incorporate some greenspace into the city. Some of my previous cities have suffered from crowded development with zero greenspace, so I made sure that didn't happen here.

ArtistsPlaza.jpg

Reyes Plaza is a breath of fresh air from the crowded corridors of Bella Vista. It was built in the 60's as part of the cities urban beautification project. Taking the place of an ugly set of ruined tenements, the plaza had a great impact on the neighborhood. Though it isn't exactly the city's greenest park, Reyes Plaza is one of the most popular.

Now sometimes you just have to admire the randomness of the development simulator in SimCity. Among the annoying repetition and neighborhood destroying constructions it produces, every once in a while you get a gem like this. No custom lotting, no demolition, this is a first try result that actually blew me away.

ParkStreet.jpg

As you can see, a lot of the city hasn't been developed, yet. Demand has been one of the limiting factors. The other has been reigning in the development so I can make things like this. It may just look like a high school and some MMPs, but the truth is I probably spent as much time on that little area as I have some cities. I think it turned out pretty well.

TheodoreHigh.jpg

Valley High School serves this island. It is one of the oldest schools in Bella Vista and also the only one on the cities historic buildings registry. Valley High is rather pedestrian in terms of academics, though it has made strides in recent years. The school has a few athletics teams, all of which compete at city owned facilities away from the school campus.

Now we move on to some various areas that I'm still working on. These areas have at least started to take some final shape. First up is this stretch of road just south of the Merlin Point Bridge. As you can see the row houses I'm hoping for have started to grow. I still have a lot to do here, including dressing up the coastline a little bit.

NorthWork.jpg

Here we have another park that I am working on. If it weren't for the ugly square edges this park would be done. Alas, it still needs work.

StatuePark.jpg

Finally, here is something to give you an idea of where this is going. The roads for the main island are in place. Some of these may change types in the future, but the pattern is pretty much set.

StreetsMap.jpg

On that note, I need a name for this Island. Since I have a very limited pool of names I like, I thought I would let you, my readers choose. Leave me your suggestions in the comments, I'll choose one and the winner gets... I don't know... cookies?

And that bring this update to close. Thanks for reading.


Programming note: I may not have an update next week due to RL. We'll see.

Blazerhawk

A Gap Abridged

Replies

  • Thanks to everyone who replied and/or read this journal. We made number 17 in the CJ Section last week, which is my best ever opening to Journal, and you are all part of the reason. Thank you.

Now to the comments section. By the way, if I simply say thank you, it just means I could not think of something better to say. This doesn't mean I value your comment any less, it just means that I couldn't find a better response.

  • jmsepe- Thank you. Soon is largely dictated by RL at the moment.
  • MariusMR-Thank you.
  • Schrifer-Thank you. MMPs are one thing I plan to focus a bit more on this journal.
  • tankmank-Thank you.
  • sarthakknight-That's actually been my problem in the past. It'll be a while before I have any fully developed areas, but they are coming
  • Johan-Thanks. It's good to know I'm not alone in my journaling troubles.
  • rewright-What's a city without an interesting map. The skyscrapers are coming, once I get to where they will grow.
  • pingpong-I was kind imagining this city might look a bit like Rio with development on almost all of the buildable terrain, but also sharp rocks along the coastline.


One of the reasons I wanted an island city is for bridge building. Maxis may not have a lot that it's still got a claim on in this game, but the bridges are still great. Plus, bridges generally have to be built around which makes them a logical opening to the development of the city.

Bella Vista is rather small in terms of area, so we can't have too many bridges, especially with the terrain lining up as it does. Initially, I started with the Avenue bridges. These were part of the ring road so they made sense. Unfortunately, that left very few options for other crossings. This meant that all my other crossings would be single-tile bridges. Full disclosure, I still don't like most of the options for these bridges, so any additional bridge had to look exceptional.

The results:

Causeway.jpg

This causeway exemplifies why I like bridge building. It was a challenge to build, as all diagonal bridges are, but the end result looks spectacular even before development spices it up. This causeway is lightly used at the moment because it is away from all my current development, but it could become heavily used as development spills eastward.

TwinBridges.jpg

As much as I hate the Maxis Road Bridges, this one actually fit perfectly here. Sure it's a bit redundant, but seeing how good it looked I couldn't resist. Besides, who hasn't seen an old bridge that runs parallel to its larger, more modern counterpart. Such is the situation I see here.

EmeraldBridge.jpg

No Maxis Bridge works quite as flexibly as this Cable-Stayed Bridge. It looks good at just about any length and any height.

This is the Rocky Pass Bridge, a Bella Vista landmark. Built in the early 90s to alleviate congestion on the older Merlin Point Bridge, the Rocky Pass Bridge is part of the Bella Vista loop. The Loop, as its locally known, serves as a higher capacity thoroughfare for the southern islands. It is the only divided highway in this portion of the city, and stands out when compared to the cities narrow corridors.

MerlinsLanding.jpg

The Merlin Point Bridge owes its name to Jacob Merlin, one of Bella Vista's early investors. Merlin started a real estate business that eventually took a position as one of the regions most prominent companies. His influence on the local economy was huge and has led to numerous things being named after him. The bridge actually lands near his historic mansion (not pictured). Though, it has since been superseded by the Rocky Pass Bridge, the Merlin Point bridge remains popular with people who swear the loop is too busy.

Bonus picture

LostIsland.jpg

This island is in a weird position. It's too small to develop and thus would need to be uninhabited. Of course, I'm trying to develop a city, and things like this can be difficult to fit any update. So this is just a bonus, something completely unrelated to the update, but might be worth sharing.

Overview

Overview.jpg

You can see that I've started building the city. Currently, it is home to about 3,000 sims, which means it will be a while before any development reaches a satisfactory stage. Thus, the next few updates are likely to focus on little infrastructure projects like parks and such.


That's all for now. RL has chewed up my next couple weekends so I may not have very large updates, but I do intend to have one each week. Until next time...

Blazerhawk

The Lab Setup

So, here we are. Again.

I've tried doing journals a couple of times before. They've always sort of failed to last long, though. After some thought, I came to the realization that this was always because I wanted to move on to some other project, or bit off more than I could chew. I have a strong perfectionist streak that gets in my way.

Then, I had an idea. A while back, I had created a city I Simcity 3000 and then again attempted the same city in Sim City 4. This one city region was incredibly fun and challenging. I decided to revisit that idea again just a one city region.

But what city?

This another common problem I have when playing larger regions. I know where I want everything to go, but I don't know where to start. I didn't have that problem here, I only have one city. But how could I make this city interesting? Again I went back to that previous on city region. It had been a series of moderately sized islands. I remembered that part of the fun was connecting those islands. So why not try that again?

The result I got from Sim City 3000 was a little boring.

InitialMap.jpg

Thankfully, with just a little work in SC4 Terraformer and with the standard terrforming tools I was able to get something more to my liking.

InitialTerrain.jpg

Of course all I had now was terrain. I needed to figure out a way to make this project work for me. Because of work, I don't have time to develop huge projects in a week, or even a month. Instead, I decided I would take little areas of the city and work on molding them to liking. This will take time. Especially since I want a larger city, but have to wait out the growth stage limits. However, for terrain it's easy simply pick a couple of small islands and work on them until I am happy them. The result is the prototype for an entry in this journal.


Before

Before.jpg

After

After.jpg

Close-Up

TheButte.jpg

This area is known as The Sea Towers. Originally created by a large volcano the Bella Vista Islands have become a series of smaller low island thanks to millenia of erosion. This process has left some interesting artifacts including some volcanic necks. These necks are much more resistant to erosion and are one of the few reminders of the geologic history of the Bella Vista Islands. These islands are a frequent site in tourism board ads for Bella Vista, often playing in the foreground of the city photos. The left island is known as Merlin's Wall, while the right island is known as Circe's Island.

Merlin's Wall is a popular site with base jumpers and hikers, though mountain climbers are often disappointed to find out that the cliffs are free-climbing only. This is an effort to prevent inexperienced climbers from attempting the difficult faces and at the same time protect and preserve the island. The island is accesible via a small base camp on the northern tip. This also happen to be the only place Merlin's Wall doesn't have a near vertical drop into the sea.

Circe's Island is a more popular tourist destination, as it offers more hospitable terrain. Though the island is a nature preserve small campsites have been created on the island. These range from simple clearings in the vegetation to some more permanent "structures" in the large banyan trees on the island. The banyan hideaways are especially popular with newlyweds who enjoy the outdoors. Circe's Island is only a short swim from one of the inhabited islands, but can also be accessed by ferry or subway.


This format will vary depending upon the content I have available. Some entries will be longer others may just be a single image. RL and my ability to finish an area will tell how much an update will have.

It should be noted that I may also post BAT updates here from time to time. Additionally, I may post character bios for Champions Online characters here. These updates will tie into what I am doing in the city.

That's all for now. Enjoy.

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