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About this City Journal

THIS IS AN Sc4 game journal.

This journal will show the growth and development of a region known as The Jade Bight.  It is centered roughly on the Jade Estuary on the North Sea coast of Germany.  Geographically, it will  stretch the length of the coastline from the Island of Sylt to the Ems Estuary and the city of Emden, and will include various terrain features found there.  It will also include several major cities, industrial plants, and major military installations in or around the region.

The journal is meant as an open forum for the exchange of ideas, comments, critiques, and a discussion of problems facing other members  --  as well as a showcase for the author's work.

Entries in this City Journal



The Jade Bight 28
Industrial & Financial Districts

Don’t start reading this entry unless you have some time to spare!!

This week, I have decided to wrap up our tour of Nuenburg.  I was planning to split the content into two more installments – but I have been overtaken by the “unforeseen consequences” – as they say in the “Weltpolitik” circles.  I made the mistake of beginning another city before finishing the CJ entries on this one – and my mind has become completely immersed in the new project.  Ain’t that they way it always is?  Man is, indeed, a fickle creature!
 Soooo – this is going to be a large entry – jammed full of pictures for you to look at.  

We move from “Beautiful Downtown Nuenburg to the low-rent and industrial neighborhoods in the southeast corner of the city.

Again – I will dispense with mentioning the goals and guidelines I had in mind while building the city.  If you really want to know the “nuts and bolts” of the thing, you can look back at entry “Nuenburg #02” for the details.  It might be of interest if you’re curious to see how faithful I’ve been to the original concepts.

# 01


# 02

Due to the severe ID (dirty industry) imbalance I caused in “Emden” – it was my intention to correct that situation by not building any industry at all and simply relying upon commercial interests to attract a much larger population (which would correct the imbalance in the ID demand).  Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that I would not be able to grow “McMansions” for my wealthy citizens without some industry.  Consequently, I decided to invest in IHT (high tech) to supply the needed boost to my high wealth occupants.  You might say industry was an afterthought – so it was not very large, nor well thought out.  (You gotta do what you gotta do!)

# 03


# 04

# 05
Here are several smaller views that show my attempts to use landscape to separate the industrial zones from the residential areas.  The separation was not as wide as I would have liked, but then, I hadn’t actually planned the industry in the first place!  (A mistake I will not make again.)  As the city growth progressed -- I also realized I was going to need a much larger population to offset that RCI imbalance.  The only solution seemed to be to zone for large tenement type buildings with low wealth residents.  The fringe of the industrial zone seemed the appropriate place for them

# 06


# 07

As the city population grew beyond 100k, it also became apparent that the crime rates were not stable, nor were they completely under control.  Consequently, I took the unusual step of building a city jail.  This also took up more of the scant land resources because it required security fencing and a bit of distance from any residential areas.  I also decided it would be proper to make the only access to the Jail through it’s own police precinct station.  “Viola” !!  The “Combined Confinement Facility – CCF -- was born!!  (Better known to the inmates as “The Slammer”.)

# 08


# 09

Here we have a small rail siding inside the industrial zone.  It does not include a freight station, so the arrangement was purely for the eye-candy effect.  The industrial zone was already small, so I chose not to go with the traditional freight station and railyard – instead improvising a smaller version.  Unfortunately, the fact that the PEG “Whistle Stop” lot beside my steam locomotives functions as a small passenger station kind of slipped right by me.  On the “up-side”, it does help handle the passenger burden (which is considerable) – but it does look a bit odd to see “The Super Chief” occasionally unload ten passenger cars in an industrial zone.

# 10


This is the usual array of city infrastructure – trash disposal, water pumping station, and the water treatment plant.  By virtue of their tasks, these facilities have always been lotted to take up as little space as possible and usually with a minimum of detail.  I figured since they were fundamental to the working of the city, the lots should also be portrayed with as much detail as possible, without becoming gargantuan in size.  I’ve laid them out in as compact an arrangement as possible, but “dressed” them out with some filler lots.

# 11


This shot is looking south -- from the edge of the commercial district – into the industrial zone.  Since high tech industry had done so much for the growth of the city, they thought it only proper to build a suitable entrance to the industrial neighborhood.  Just imagine the “Captains of Industry” leaving their downtown boardrooms.  Their limousines proceed down the wide avenue of the “Hoch Strasse and emerge from between the tall buildings to be greeted by a pleasant, tree-lined space with a roundabout holding a statue of rampaging bulls (denoting a “bull market” on Wall Street).  And towering over it all, are the imposing monoliths of “The Lighthouses Of Commerce”.  Kinda makes a guy feel like a “Master of the Universe” – dunnit?

# 12


I was trying to keep some distance between industry, commercial, and residential – but space was at a premium – and I was also pushing for as large a population as could reasonably be accommodated.  We see here luxury hotels (for those Captains Of Industry), commercial buildings, cultural buildings, and a serious block of low wealth housing for the “worker ants”.  Proceeding north past the movie studio is a tree-lined stretch of “The Wasserturm Strasse” leading directly to the mass of corporate office blocks on the north edge of town.

# 13


# 14

Some of you may have already noticed – these are among my favorite buildings.  Some will decry their repeated use as boring, redundant, or simply “repetitive”.  I, too, like to find new and unusual buildings for my cities, but such attractive lots as these deserve to be used – often and with “style”.  Please note the details – unusual road arrangements, park pathways, parking, and especially the landscape.  I’ve tried to create tranquil spots with sun, trees, and space – all the while using the landscape as a barrier between the industrial zone.

# 15


# 16

Here we have an interesting collection of hotels, commercial buildings, and museums.  Note the extensive use of landscaping and especially the Paeng park pathways used to tie the whole thing together – end to end, and side to side.  The sidewalks worked out very well along the lower row of buildings.  It appears “airy” and spacious and the trees provide a sense of tranquility.  (I confess, I have had to use all my ingenuity to avoid using complicated diagonal building lots – and still look good.  I may have to start using them.)  Please note the tree-lined stretch along the Wasserturm Strasse.

# 17


This is yet another of “Matt325’s” fine lots – the Disease Research Center.  Behind it you see the movie studio.  One would think a lot would look pretty dowdy squeezed between an embankment wall, a railroad, several roads, and a movie studio – but wonders can be worked with a bit of MMP landscaping !!

# 18


# 19

# 20

# 21

I have been experimenting for a number of weeks with various “office Parks” and the individual buildings that go in them.  I was taken with their different arrangements, the vast parking areas, and the layout of the “office park” lots.  They were good!  But there was something missing.  Just plopping down an office park and taking up large amounts of space – possibly arranging some roads around them – just didn’t seem to do “it” – whatever that was.  So I kept coming back to them.  I finally decided that they appeared too sterile – squatting there on the map – dominating the entire visual space.  So I came to the conclusion that they needed to be blended INTO the landscape rather than dominating it.  I’ve used Paeng park pathways, Paeng’s pocket plazas, raised embankments, filler parking, and a whole mess of MMP landscape to try and accomplish that.  “The Devil is in the details”.  I put a lot of time, effort, and thought into “blending”.  Let me know what you think

# 22


# 23

# 24

# 25

Here’s a small, custom tailored grouping of buildings laid out to fit into a rather small area, but still conveying a sense of space and tranquility.  Note the use of the parks and plazas at the north end of the grouping and between them.

# 26


# 27

# 28

# 29

This is the “masterpiece” of the north side corporate office complex experiment.  I was working on keeping the space as compact as possible, while using three buildings arranged in such a way as to allow road access.  The buildings front on the ramp entrance to the elevated embankment, which is landscaped with park paths, plazas, a convenience store, massive MMP use, and observation points overlooking the lower city area.  I think it is very “classy” – and the only “monumental” piece included is the fountain.  Elegant – but not grandiose (I hope).

# 30


# 31

# 32

# 33

This one I plopped “as is”.  I liked the lawn design in the front and the roundabout with the abstract fountain.  I always think of the buildings as looking a bit like the Boyle Street address from the “Boston Legal” TV series.  I understand the law offices of Crane, Poole & Schmidt occupy the top two floors of the front building.  My only unease with the scene – is that it doesn’t quite “blend” with the landscape.  It’s possible that the space looks too much like a giant parking lot with a couple of small buildings.  I spent a lot of years in Los Angeles, and I have a dislike for vast parking areas – Joni Mitchell’s song from the “60’s”, no doubt.

# 34


# 35

Nuenburg is my 15th City in this region and I had not yet found a place to plop this one.  THIS city seemed just about perfect.  Some complicated ramp and embankment work to keep the space compact – some park paths – parking – a few pocket plazas – and a mass of MMP landscape.  Bingo !!  General Metals Engineering also brings a whole mess of high tech jobs and is ideal for placement late in the growth process to wipe out that huge surplus of HT jobs in the RCI graph.  One of the biggest problems with using these office buildings and lots is the RCI demand.  If you plop too soon in the game, you wipe out the demand and Maxis buildings in other parts of the city will not grow and develop.  Again, mixing Maxis lots into the game is crucial to my method of developing a city.

# 36


This one is a grouping I have been playing with in each one of my cities.  It was the focus of my initial experimentation with office blocks or parks.  I kept arranging and rearranging them in different configurations in an attempt to make them look like a cohesive complex. This is about the best I could do.  Maybe an “L” shape would have worked better ??

# 37


This is a small “pocket” neighborhood kind of isolated by the highway and railroad.  It seemed a good place to drop a museum and those Maxis churches.  You gotta put them someplace just to get the reward boost!  Lots of landscaping dressed them up a bit.

# 38


# 39

I refer to this as the Transport Hub because I have a passenger rail stop and the airport shuttle in a central grouping with parks, hotels, a parking garage, and restaurants.  We’ve got the “twin” buildings of the St. Ritzy hotel along with a Lenny’s fast food, a Wendy’s restaurant, and – my favorite – a White Castle.  It’s mostly fast food stuff, but if the people in those office parks want “fine” dining, they can always go across town to the Nordstrom Mall.  The radio and television stations are also gathered here.  Judging by all those buses, the airport shuttle is quite popular.  Just as well since the railroads are seriously over-burdened.

# 40


This is an excellent view of the Winterton Memorial, the terminus of yet another “visual axes” and central to the entrance of the office park complex..

# 41


In addition to the many fine hotels in Nuenburg, we have the Lindo Tower and The Excelsior – both situated just north of the transport hub and ideally placed to service businessmen visiting companies in the office complex.

# 42


Here you can see the end of the raised plateau holding the office parks.  Getting General Metals placed on the end of the hill was tricky, and building the ramp while not disturbing the rail and road connections was even more so.  But the landscape makes all the difference.  Note two CSX passenger trains passing one another at the crossing.


I have included a large, city overview – along with several higher-zoom overviews -- that may help you tie all these pictures together and make sense of the layout of the city.
# 43 – City

# 44 – Industrial

# 45 – Wasserturm Strasse District

# 46 – Office Complex – East End

# 47 – Office Complex – West End


Here are a bunch of night shots for you guys

# 48 – Here’s one you don’t see every day.

# 49

# 50

# 51

# 52

# 53 – I really like this one.

# 54

# 55

# 56

# 57 – I do like this !

# 58

# 59

# 60

# 61

# 62 – This is VERY nice !!  Subdued, yet striking.

# 63


One of the initial goals of this city was to try out an entirely new style of landscaping for my maps.  I spent several days searching for trees and landscape items – several more days testing individual downloads – and a day or so making the occasional tree filler lot to use for mass coverage.  Once I was ready, I spent almost an entire day making different types of terrain on a test map and “painting” it with my new materials.  These are the results of about a week’s work.  Even with all this effort, I’m still having trouble getting my brain to think of terrain as “wide open spaces”.  I think I’m doing pretty well with making a variety of terrain – ponds, scree slopes, and the occasional clearing in the woods.  But I just can’t seem to bring myself to leave large areas WITHOUT some sort of landscape device.  They say that “Nature abhors a vacuum” – perhaps that’s my problem.  But I’ll keep working on it.  Comments here would especially be appreciated.  I’m still experimenting and ANY suggestion would get my attention!!

# 64

# 65

# 66

# 67

# 68

# 69

# 70

# 71

# 72

# 73

# 74


I noticed – hardly anyone posts pictures of trains rattling through their maps.  Nuenburg has its’ share of rail lines and stations, all of which are working beyond their capacity.  Consequently, I’ve got oodles and oodles of trains roaring around the map.  I got bored looking at the same old generic Maxis trains – and lucky for me – VDK posted a bunch of new trains !!  I spent a least one day downloading and testing them – and picked a CSX passenger engine, the Santa Fe Super Chief passenger engine, a CSX freight engine, and some vintage 1950’s passenger cars.  You have to be careful with your selections – the darker cars and engines don’t show up well on the map.  But here are some pictures for you “train spotters” out there!

# 75 – CSX passenger express to Emden

#76 – CSX passenger about to collide with a log truck !!

# 77

# 78 – CSX passenger passing the “sheep in the field”

# 79 – Super Chief causing a traffic jam & vehicle accident

# 80 – Same again

# 81

# 82

# 83 – CSX passenger express pulling into the Central Hub station

# 84


I’m posting a series of regional pictures so you can get an idea of how the growth and development is progressing.  As you can see, I do not lay out entire regions before starting development of any given map, though I do have a master plan sketched out with pen and paper.  If and when I start a new region, I may try laying it out on paper and then filling in the various maps with the roughed-out land form to get a better idea where things should go.

# 85 – REGION 01

# 86 – REGION 02

# 87 – REGION 03

# 88 – REGION 04

In this map you can see where Nuenburg was under development at the bottom center.  You can also see where the neighboring map – Wilhelmshaven – was being used as a test map for new downloads, custom re-lots, and for creating terrain and landscape systems.

# 89 – REGION 05

In this map, you can see Nuenburg fully grown with two maps roughed-in to the west, one map roughed in to the south, and a small map tile to the southeast.  Due east of Nuenburg – you’ll notice that the large map tile has completed terra-forming and is now under development as “Wilhelmshaven”.  THIS is the project that has drawn my full attention for the last few weeks while I was trying to get the CJ entries done for Nuenburg.

Looking at this region so far, I am not all that pleased.  Building the cities, learning new techniques, adding new custom content – is a lot of fun.  But the map bothers me.  My sense of “space and proportion” is still not satisfied.  Nuenburg and Emden, the last two cities built, have grown right up to their boundary limits.  It reminds me of a map of Los Angeles – about 100 square miles of dense urban habitat.  You could drive through half a dozen cities out there without knowing where one ends and the other begins.  I’m still looking for something big enough to provide that sense of space and distance.  If I continue this region, I’m going to have to start building smaller to create that feeling of space and distance between the cities.  I may have to revise my method a bit.  Maybe by covering less "geography" on larger map tiles.  Instead of trying to build several large cities in a region -- I may have to build a single large city (covering, perhaps, more than one map tile) with outlaying suburbs and villages.  But – I have already gotten fully involved with Wilhelmshaven – so that decision will have to be made later.

This is going to be a major project.  I have been testing and developing all sorts of things for this map that I have not used anywhere else.  I’m also bringing the lessons I learned from Nuenburg (as well as the other maps in this CJ).  We will have the new landscape, many new custom lots for the commercial zones, and some better use of residential lots as I continue to tinker with zoning for specific kinds of “grow lots”.  In addition to all these innovations and evolutionary developments, I will be incorporating a full range of marinas, boardwalks, rail stations, and some commercial entertainment lots.
You can also see from the map, that Wilhelmshaven holds the eastern terminus of the Jade-Ems Ship Canal and a medium sized seaport.  Each one of those represents a major undertaking.  

The big news is that this city is also home to my first naval base.  Traditionally, Wilhelmshaven was the home port of the Imperial Battlefleet.  In my version, the city will host, specifically, the “battleline” of the High Sea Fleet – the big gun battleships.  The Kaiser built 21 of the monsters – but I have only made room for 12 (I figure that’s more than enough to get the picture across).  This is a naval “base” – not just an anchorage – so there will be all the support facilities you would expect to find ashore.  If you’ve got good eyes – you can probably figure out what you’re looking at on the map!!  (There will be other naval bases in the region that will host carriers, cruisers, destroyers, submarines, and even an air-mobile helicopter assault carrier.)  
Another big step for me will be adding in some hill country.  I have avoided any sort of terrain elevations up to this point, mainly because I was too involved in learning how to make so many other things work.  (You have to remember that I was playing “wall to wall” vanilla Maxis versions of the game up until September of last year!)

HIATUS -- !!
Yes – I’m going back into hiatus-mode (read hibernation).  That is one reason why this entry is so BIG -- I wanted to say it all and show it all before disappearing for a while.  After analyzing Nuenburg, I already know that I do some of my best work when I'm not bothered with trying to update a CJ while I'm "building".  The next one is a large map to start with, and the new landscape effects could add months to the Wilhelmshaven project.  (Example – The Wasserturm Triangle – laying it out, growing it in, and landscaping took an entire evening for that small triangle!!)  A large map is anybody’s guess !  

But I’ll be back eventually – with THE FLEET !

OKAY -- !!

That’s a wrap!

If you've got anything you want to say -- now is the time.  Wilhelmshaven is still, largely, a "blank canvas" and I can investigate / incorporate any of your ideas without too much trouble.


I am, however, looking forward to dropping by to see what new stuff you guys are working on!!



The Jade Bight 27
Nuenburg 03
Beautiful Downtown Nuenburg


(Nuenburg was too far advanced to go back and rebuild ALL the roads with palms stuck on them !!)

This week, our tour of Nuenburg continues.  We move from the Alte Bibliothek neighborhood north through the mid-rise condos, flats, and luxury apartments on the south side of the business district.

It is at this point that I usually mention the goals and guidelines I had in mind while building the city.  I think I’ll skip that part of it in this installment.  If you’re really all that interested in the “nuts and bolts” of the thing, you can look back at the last entry

# 01


This is, roughly, the area we will be touring.  In actuality, it extends a bit to the north east of the picture

# 02


We’ll start off with the Nordstrom Shopping Mall.  It started out as the North Point Mall a couple years ago, with a descent assortment of small shops under one roof.  But then Nordstrom came in and offered to build a large “anchor” store for the mall.  In addition to the two focal shopping points, we have a “five star” Italian Restaurant, a pretty good “Denny’s” for the more mundane taste in food, and a really nice little breakfast, brunch, and lunch restaurant.

# 03


Just across the avenue from the mall you see the building owned by the financial services of Simon, Franks, and Associates.  This one is a bit higher than I like, but it is an unusual building, so I decided to let it stay.

# 04


This is one of my favorite buildings and forms the terminus of the tree-lined Center Street that runs north into the heart of the downtown.

# 05


# 06


In this shot, we are moving from the residential area into the downtown business districts.  You’ll note that I used a series of small parks to separate the residences from the business.  Here we have the Belgenny Luxury Hotel and a block further on, there is the Holbourne Complex.  I keep experimenting with small office buildings – trying to devise some sort of practical office park arrangement.

# 07


Off the north corner of the Nordstrom Mall you will find “The High Street”.  This is where all “the very best” shopping is done.  They’ve got several fine shops to choose from in addition to Marks & Spencer and the Luis Vuiton building.

# 08


Here you see another view of the transition between the residential and the business.  The green-roofed condos are perfect for the setting.  You’ve got the tree-lined Center Street on the right and the barrier row of parks in front with a few “McMansions”.

# 09


# 10

This is (I think) a bank building found in Helsinki.  I came across this lot some time ago, and I’ve been looking for just the right opportunity to use it.  It looked too dull as a simple square – and enlarging the square would have taken up too much room in the heart of town.  So I elongated the square instead, and included subways, parking, landscape – and placed it right off the city center.  I’m especially pleased with the landscaping.

# 11



This is an extrapolation of the City Center Park theme I’ve been working on.  I used a fountain as the centerpiece (just for Tariely) and expanded and improved the landscape a bit.

# 13

I think I’ve just about hunted down enough med-rise buildings to give my cities a good mix of custom content.  I’m still determined to mix in the Maxis content because it will help to keep the traffic patterns and RCI balance all in order.  But I think it is turning out to be quite a good “mix and match”.  Note the parks along the diagonal avenue.





Note the extensive use of landscaping and especially the Paeng park pathways.  These come in very handy.  My city center has been built on the principle of the visual axes (Remember “Odainsaker’s” comment.)  The city sort of spreads out as a large “X”.  The Paeng pathways are very good for landscaping the points, corners, and along the diagonals where possible.
The big, gaudy statue is probably someone like Emmeline Pankhurst.  But I find it of interest that it wound up right next to the “Déjà vu” Club.  Leave it to Maxis to grow the club in the center of town.  And then it pops up a pharmacy next to the club.  Strikes me there’s something “Freudian” about having Emmeline Pankhurst, a “whoopee club”, and a drug store all in a row. :rofl:



A very nice diagonal corner lot by “Matt325” – looks good there.



The Sunwin House and Trowbridge House in a very nice grouping.

# 19


Here’s the north edge of the downtown area.  I’ve used another one of my favorite buildings, the Lever House – and tried out a new one, the Qiu Tao building.



This is on the east edge of the downtown and uses the “Jean Canfield” building and the Talin Bank buildings to fill in another diagonal zone.  The Canfield building is quite interesting to place and is a large over-hanging structure that allows you to place filler lots up under the edges.  Note the use of the Paeng pathways at the tip of the diagonal.  The pale grassy surface of the “diagonal” seems to blend perfectly well with the park arrangement.

# 22


Here’s a shot of the Cascade Center with landscaping to the left side and rear of the building.  And another view of the small parks used to separate the residential from the business.

It was brought to my attention that I had neglected to provide night shots for the last entry.  My apologies.
Consequently, I have gone back and taken a few night shots from the last entry to add in here.  I’m especially fond of # 29 and #31.  Enjoy !!

# 23

# 24

# 25

# 26

# 27

# 28

# 29

# 30

# 31

# 32

# 33

# 34

# 35

# 36

# 37

OKAY -- !!
That puts another one in the can!



Nuenburg 04 – the conclusion.




The Jade Bight 26
Nuenburg 02
The Alte Bibliothek Neighborhood

Before we jump into the "good stuff" (pictures) --

Thank you all so much for your interest, or just simple curiosity.  You are ALL -- VERY, VERY -- welcome and appreciated.  
(Now -- if only 10% of my viewers were giving comments, I would have learned a lot more.)

(Nuenburg was too far advanced to go back and rebuild ALL the roads with palms stuck on them !!)

Please let me take a moment to repeat some of the goals and objectives that were in play during the building of Nuenburg.

This city was built, specifically, to correct the imbalance in the Regional RCI Demand.  Many theories were tested in the previous city of Emden -- and many mistakes were made.  Wholesale "plopping" of custom industry to create the seaport destroyed the demand and left the rest of the region unable to support industrial growth.  Custom content plopped to create a better looking commercial district created a similar, but much less drastic problem for the commercial RCI demand.  Emden also suffered from the physical sprawl of the seaport.  The seaport was quite realistic -- and I enjoyed working on it -- but it took up fully half of the map.  This left no room for the commercial zones and especially for the residential growth that could have helped to soften the RCI crunch somewhat.  So --- Nuenburg has been built in such a manner as to increase the population -- which will, in turn -- bring the RCI back into balance.
I could ramble on and on about "the plan" -- but I'll cut it short --

1.  --  Increased population to balance RCI Demands.  Absolute Prime Directive!
2.  --  Try to avoid W2W zoning -- allow for "green spaces".
3.  --  Install and use "slope Mod".
4.  --  Incorporate some "raised terrain areas" on the map.  Use "Mas'71" walls with "Nob" textures as retaining walls.
5.  --  Perfect terrain landscape style.  Devise some sort of new scheme for the tree mix.  Work on variety of terrain features.  
6.  --  Incorporate "open" areas of terrain -- fields, etc.  Decrease tree coverage and use pastures and open dields.
7.  --  Use Paeng Cemetery system instead of Maxis.
8.  --  Perfect "zoning" for high wealth neighborhood.
9.  --  Include "zoning" for apartment block neighborhoods.
10.--  Fully utilize passenger rail system.
11.--  Search out and introduce more new "custom content" to commercial zones.
12.--  Introduce "Office Parks".
13.--  Maintain "low" to "medium rise" heights.
14.--  Return to basic road planning -- as per "Odainsaker" and his feedback on the "visual axes".  (SPECIAL thanx to Odainsaker!)

This week we resume our tour of Nuenburg by paying a visit to the Alte Bibliothek neighborhood in the southwest part of the city.

Now -- !!  Let's look at some pictures and you guys can make with the comments and questions.

# 01


This is the area we will be touring in this installment.  

# 02


Having experimented a bit with zoning for small apartment blocks on the previous installment, I took it to the next level by laying out an entire neighborhood that was supposed to be dedicated to low wealth residential.  As you can see -- the Wilsonoff Medium wealth condos began to creep in as well.  I could have bulldozed them -- but I need the population too badly.  Still -- the arrangement seemed to work well.

# 03

# 04

# 05

Here is a second "apartment neighborhood" just next door -- and this one was meant to be dedicated to condos, medium apartments, and -- generally speaking -- larger, medium sized buildings of medium wealth.  There is a nice mix of buildings and note that the access to the neighborhood is limited.  I have screened the entire neighborhood from the main avenue traffic with a belt of trees -- gives it that "warm & fuzzy" feel while allowing adequate access to main thoroughfares.

# 06

# 07

# 08

# 09


Here we begin moving into "high density" zoning.

# 10


This kind of got away from me.  I was getting some nice high density buildings -- which was good for the population growth -- and they weren't too tall.  But this lot suddenly sprang up and towered over everything.  I had been hoping for a more medium-rise look, but in view of the necessity of regional growth -- I decided to let them stay.

# 11


# 12

# 13

# 14

# 15

I rather enjoyed working on this !!  The need to improve my landscape MMP skills is one of the above-stated goals -- and I think it turned out rather well, indeed!  (Plus -- if you're going to have a bunch of stuff cluttering up your drop-down menus -- you need to use it !)

# 16


I planned on some lovely Matt325 "McMansions" down along the bottom of the map, and thought it would be nice to separate them from the old library with a few shops and small parks.  

# 17

# 18

# 19

This is some landscaping along the bottom edge of the map tile.  You've got to do "something" with that pesky empty space !!

# 20


Having plopped Debussyman's "Bibliothek" inside an enlarged version of a roundabout, it looked like the ideal place to squeeze in a bit of commercial space -- just to keep the neighborhood on it's toes !

# 21

# 22

Yes -- I know.  The white, wrap-around-corner buildings were duplicated in the last two pictures.  I risked being scorned as repetitive to use them to form a sort of visual gate leading to the impressive "Bibliothek" building. (Imagine yourself at ground level looking north toward the library -- "visual gate" -- get it??  Got it??  GOOD !!)  
Of course, the whole ugly business could have been avoided if someone had been thoughtful enough to do a "bat" for London's Admiralty Arch !!

# 23

# 24


# 25


Please pause for a moment to study the pictures.  In these last two -- you have pretty good "examples" of the use of "Visual Axes" as espoused by "Odainsaker" in the comments section of a previous CJ entry.  Notice the avenue running east / west between the Bibliothek and the "L' Assomption".  A wide avenue connecting physically ( the road) and visually (the scenic view down the boulevard).  Look closely and you will see a tree-lined road headed north -- right into the center of the business district.  Being "anti-grid" is all well and good.  And it should be acknowledged that some cities have made good use of the "wide curve".  But a grid including the occasional wide or tree-lined boulevard, straight as an arrow -- will only be found in the "Grandest" of cities !!  (PLEASE !! -- No "hate mail"!  My remarks were made with humor in mind.)

# 26

This area, in particular, worked out well.  Note the diagonal avenue coming from the downtown district and ending at the Bibliothek.  It provides both a visual axes as well as being wide enough to handle the bulk of the traffic coming from this quadrant of the map.  The apartment areas on the left have access to the two avenues around the Bibliothek as well as a road running directly to the highway on-ramp -- or the train station just beyond.  

It should be noted that though I fully planned to provide employees to other cities in the region, I did not realize the RCI imbalance in these other cities would be so great.  It was my purposeful intention to grow more people than employment in Nuenburg, thereby helping to balance the industrial RCI problem.  I even placed three different passenger terminals on the rail lines.  To my great regret, all of them were "custom content" -- and though pretty -- they were nowhere near enough.  All my rail stations have been overwhelmed -- and the track leading into Wilhelmshaven is heavily congested.  

Someone with some bat / lotting skill needs to address this problem.  We have a wide variety of train stations, and some of them VERY nice.  But only the Maxis passenger stations can handle the people.  What's wrong with that picture ??

WELL -- that concludes this week's tour !


It's been fun, today -- but I'm building the Imperial Dockyards in Wilhelmshaven and His Majesty, The Kaiser, is an impatient man.  It will take much time -- especially since there are so many things to show that will have to be improvised, or substitutes used.  But what's the Jade Bight without the High Seas Fleet -- right ??

"Beautiful Downtown Nuenburg" !!



The Jade Bight 25
Nuenburg 01
The North Shore

Not to overstate "the obvious" -- but -- I'M BACK !!

My "hiatus" (about 3 weeks) turns out to have been brief.  

When I first started this CJ, I was able to crank out a medium-sized city tile in about a week.  As I have absorbed ideas and feedback from all of you, the amount of "searching", "testing",  "perfecting", and landscaping rose dramatically until it simply became impossible to create a reasonably good city in that short amount of time.  Why -- just getting the right building mix in your downtown could take weeks!  I knew my "standards" were slipping and needed correcting.  I may only have "limited talent" -- but I would never wish to display anything less than my best work.  

Consequently, I will now finish a city tile to my satisfaction and turn my attention to creating the several CJ entries.  Once all the entries for a given city have been posted, I will return to "hiatus" mode to create the next city.  I am very pleased with this new city and I'm convinced it has turned out so well because I was able to focus my full attention on the "creative process of building".

# 01


At first glance, Nuenburg appears to sprawl out and cover the entire map tile.  In the sense that it accommodates some 205k people, that is true.  But it also conforms, in some degree, to many basic guidelines I use.  

This city was built, specifically, to help correct the imbalance in the Regional RCI Demand that was left over after mistakes that were made in the city of Emden.  Wholesale "plopping" of custom industry to create the seaport destroyed the demand and left the rest of the region unable to support industrial growth.  Custom content plopped to create a better looking commercial district created a similar, but much less drastic problem for the commercial RCI demand.  Emden also suffered from the physical sprawl of the seaport.  Emden's seaport was quite realistic -- and I enjoyed working on it -- but it took up fully half of the map.  This left no room for the commercial zones and especially for the residential growth that could have helped to soften the RCI crunch somewhat.  So --- Nuenburg has been built in such a manner as to increase the population -- which will, in turn -- bring the RCI back into balance.
I could ramble on and on about "the plan" -- but I'll cut it short and simply list the "goals", "guidelines", or "objectives" that shaped the city.

1.  --  Increased population to balance RCI Demands.  Absolute Prime Directive!
2.  --  Try to avoid W2W zoning -- allow for "green spaces".
3.  --  Install and use "slope Mod".
4.  --  Incorporate some "raised terrain areas" on the map.  Use "Mas'71" walls with "Nob" textures as retaining walls.
5.  --  Perfect terrain landscape style.  Devise some sort of new scheme for the tree mix.  Work on variety of terrain features.  
6.  --  Incorporate "open" areas of terrain -- fields, etc.  Decrease tree coverage and use pastures and open fields.
7.  --  Use Paeng Cemetery system instead of Maxis.
8.  --  Perfect "zoning" for high wealth neighborhood.
9.  --  Include "zoning" for apartment block neighborhoods.
10.--  Fully utilize passenger rail system.
11.--  Search out and introduce more new "custom content" to commercial zones.
12.--  Introduce "Office Parks".
13.--  Maintain "low" to "medium rise" heights.
14.--  Return to basic road planning -- as per "Odainsaker" and his feedback on the "visual axes".  (SPECIAL thanx to Odainsaker!)

I know -- that's a butt-ton of stuff to have on your mind when your trying to decide where to plop that next road !!
Having said all that -- I'm not going to bore you further.  I will comment only when absolutely necessary.

Now -- !!  Let's look at some pictures and you guys can make with the comments and questions.

# 02


This is the area we will be touring in this installment.  The following pictures were taken at a "close detail" level because that's where the fun is !!

# 03


# 04

# 05

# 06


# 07


You guys remember my "Best Bud" -- right ??  I try to take Moby everywhere.

# 08


# 09

Two areas that needed some sort of "natural" landscape -- other than a tree.  For those of you that have seen "Zorro - The Gay Blade" -- I need say no more. (lol-lol- Rofl - Rofl -- !!)

# 10


Special effort on this one.  (BTW -- I have installed a "NO PALMS Mod" for my next city.)

# 11


# 12


# 13

# 14

Much better results zoning for wealth this time.  A promenade like this needs big spenders.  Note Matt325's excellent "McMansions" -- very nice.

# 15


I love that statue !!

# 16


# 17


Several objectives in this one.  "Raised" plateau -- my new retaining walls  -- McMansions.

# 18


"Slope Mod" in use for the entrance.



# 20

Working on tree mix and naturalizing slopes.

# 21


# 22


# 23

Paeng's modular cemetery -- will fill all your needs in one simple lot.  I couldn't help throwing in the "Graveyard Chopper" picture.  Must be hunting for those "Goth" kids that hang out there all the time. (lol)

# 24


# 25


# 26


That means it's an academy for "the rich"  -- they're always "gifted" -- right ??

# 27


# 28


For the not so gifted.

# 29


# 30

# 31


# 32

# 33


# 34





# 37



# 39

# 40

# 41

Well --

That's a wrap for this week.  We will pick up where we left off next week -- "Good Lord willin' and the creeks don't rise".





The Jade Bight 24
Emden 08
The Commercial

This week will be the 8th and final entry for the city of Emden.  I know it has taken a lot longer than planned to bring it all together, but it is finally finished.  I do wish the city had turned out better.  It was not my best demonstration of planning and, frankly, simply ignored some of the basic rules of how to build a functioning city.  Still -- it was an excellent test of the "regional" building concepts in the game.  
The overly enthusiastic use of industrial and seaport custom content lots in "Emden" easily blew the RCI demand limits and made it imperative that my next city should avoid industry and seaport lots at all costs.  In fact, I have already begun working and experimenting on the city of "Nuenburg", and the "negative" ID & IM levels will make it impossible to grow industry there for quite a long time.  I will have to concentrate on residential growth to eventually offset the collapse of the ID & IM demand.  It may well take more than one medium sized city map to offset the damage done by over-plopping the custom lots.



Looking at the picture, you can see that -- once the harbor was finished -- there was very little room left for a commercial district and it wound up being shoved into the right top corner of the map.



Odd looking building -- figured I needed to find a place for it.



My "center city" arrangements have often drawn comments -- mostly unfavorable -- so I keep experimenting with new layouts and decoration.  I believe that EVERY city needs some sort of civic beautification at its center.  
Old cities have "squares" -- where the city market or fair was held by order of Royal Decree.  Some on cobblestones, others on grass -- and usually in Europe.
Newer cities -- since the turn of the last century -- have squares, or "greens", or "Commons".  And most will host a courthouse, a police headquarters, a town hall, or a magistrate's dwelling.
Modern cities often have civic buildings arrayed around a large park with plentiful trees, fountains, and small lakes -- designed to glorify the civil service and impress the "common folk".
(One recent architect built a city hall in the shape of a boat !!  "Ship Of State" -- get it??  I understand the joke was lost on the citizenry.)
But that's why I insist on having a town center -- it's an age-old custom !!



Nice shot of some ploppable custom content.  I used 1x1 sandstone filler lots to make the "paved plaza" look at the base of the "Telus" buildings.  This allows you to drop some "people" props in there and give the scene a bit of life.




This is one of my favorite buildings and I use it every chance I get.  (We need more "green glass" buildings!)  Note the "people pavers" in this one, too.  Also -- I did a custom landscape for the building using those beautiful "Istrinius" trees.  They are superb for just this sort of placement.





This may not be the most ostentatious hotel in the game, but it is certainly the most interesting one to place.  I don't remember how many times I spun this thing in circles trying to decide how to plop!  The building has a big "overhang" so I was able to make good use of the "people pavers" to give the lot some life.  If you look closely (#08)  --  I was even able to run a driveway under the carport overhang!  I trimmed out the edges of the building with my trusty "Istrinius" trees because they work so well and look so good!!  The odd shape of the building made it necessary to get very creative with some parking lots and park paths to fill the empty surroundings.  But I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out!



This is a great building!!!  Obviously, it is designed for diagonals -- but it's also very well modelled and has appropriate night lighting!  I think it ties together very well with the other buildings and links the gardens going back to the Marriott.



I call this the "Kong Financial Group" -- but it's not.  Really -- it's "The Kong Building".  (Possibly a joke on BIG monkeys?)  And it provides a bit over 600 IHT jobs as well as "flippin' great wodges of cash" in tax money.  (Leave it to the Brits to use "the language of Shakespeare" to such good effect.)  I won't let them grow in my industrial zones (that's where they really belong) because they look so much like an office tower and so little like any sort of IHT industry.  So I plop one somewhere every so often to keep the cash flow "in the black".  (I know -- "Moolah" is much easier to use -- but "Kong" salves my conscience in that if I cheat, I pay for it by building the thing and taking up space.)  I really don't like the use of "cheats"  -- but I also don't like empty city coffers!!  Anyway -- I've been experimenting with different ways to place the buildings and actually make them "look like something".  So here is "the Kong Financial Group, LLC" and the business park I assembled around them.   



I have been admonished for not using fountains in my parks and centerpieces -- so here is "Neptune Park".  Its part of my "less GRAND" decorative parks initiative.



This is a close-up of the city center park that illustrates this "less GRAND" parks initiative.  I have been told that my parks were too "grandiose" for the cities in which they are placed.  I have had to assume they speak of both the "size" of the park as well as the columns, statues, and obelisks I often use.  This park attempts to return to basic "nature" for the real character of the park.  It is a bit smaller in size -- and there is a central column -- but there HAS to be some sort of ornament at the center.  The remainder of the park is composed of simple paths, "Istrinius" trees, wildflowers, and a central "clump" of trees.  To be fair, however, there is no such thing as a column, obelisk, or statue that looks "out of place".  I have traveled extensively and remember with great fondness Cleopatra's Needle perched along the Thames Embankment.  Or Charles I astride his horse smack in the middle of Whitehall.  And Nelson's Column could hardly be anywhere other than Trafalgar Square!  Come to think on it -- I don't think I've ever heard of anyone that liked Grant's Tomb or where it sits !!  But there it is!  
Monuments are like people -- we should take them how and where we find them!




















I though it would be a nice time to put up another regional picture to let you see how the region has been growing.  Just disregard the stuff toward the bottom of the map -- and the big map tile with the "watering hole" in the middle.  Those are all "test" maps I've been working on for various reasons.  I would have cropped them out of the picture -- but things tend to go blurry when I mess with pictures from the "census" program.

29_REGION 01

30_REGION 02

31_REGION 03

32_REGION 04

YES -- !!
It's time to take a break from the CJ.

We've "had good innings" -- as the Brits say.  About a 6 month run -- and some success, I might add.  I may not win any awards -- but I can still get a cup of coffee on my "good looks"!  (That's what "my old man" used to tell me back in the day!)
But trying to publish a weekly installment on a CJ while building cities and doing custom re-lotting projects finally got the better of me.  
First I ran out of my stock of "finished cities" to publish from.  Too many days creating custom lots and too many nights working too slow on cities meant I just couldn't keep up with the publication schedule.  "Emden" wound up taking 8 weeks to finish and publish.  That's "waaaaaay" too long.
Next -- I had to do a complete and total "weed & feed" on my plugins folder.  That took took about 2 weeks and was no picnic -- believe me!!

Sooooo -- to make a long story short, I'm suspending the CJ while I devote some time to building a few new cities.
 I've already got one started -- "Nuenburg".  It's about 25% complete -- but I'm in no hurry.  I fully intend to take the time and do some quality work.  No more slapping stuff in a spot just to "get it done"!  I'm incorporating a new "hand-crafted" approach to the landscape.  It looks much better -- but you wind up placing every single rock and tree on the map!!  No "God Mode" for anything!  And I'm experimenting with raised terrain, concrete retaining walls, and big office parks for the first time.  I'm also working on designing neighborhoods for urban apartments (not the mid-rise stuff, but stuff for individual families you see all over).  

Taking leave of the CJ will allow me to spend the proper time on design, planning, and placement -- and hand-crafting "Mother Nature".  Work steady, work good, and don't be afraid to call in the bulldozers if the finished product doesn't "hit you in the sweet spot" !!  The extra time will provide the proper attention to detail so that I can feel like my best work is yet to come.  

Thank you to everyone who has offered advice and help -- and even to those who offered criticism.  Critical comment is just as informative and often better when offered in the right spirit.  I bear no ill will to anyone who offered a comment of some sort.  
Thank you!

In the immortal words of Douglas MacArthur.....



The Jade Bight 23
Emden 07
The Residential

This week we will be touring the residential areas of Emden.  
The space covered on the map is not large (somewhat less than 1/4 of the tile), and beyond a bit of creative landscaping -- nothing fancy.  And -- quite frankly -- not very much of it worked out as planned.  Actually -- none of it managed to "grow into" what I had planned on.  No doubt, in addition to being impatient, this was an error on my part in having unreasonable expectations.  

I must also add that the "regional" concept I've been experimenting with seems to have run afoul of "custom content fever".  In Emden, I indulged my fantasies by building a very nice industrial seaport with extensive use of all those wonderful "custom lots" we have to choose from.  I then proceeded to top it off by building the massive VW Auto Plant.  The finished industrial and seaport zones look realistic, and are very good (IMHO).  I was very pleased with myself and had thoroughly enjoyed building to my heart's content.  

But -- what I actually wound up with was a great looking seaport in a city that is only barely functional.  All those really great looking custom industrial lots blew the RCI demands right off the chart!  The better choice would have been to use a FEW of the best looking custom lots in the seaport zone and fill in the blanks with Maxis industrial dressed out with filler lots for effect.  That would have looked less flashy, but would have produced a more functional game with a sustainable RCI balance.

The only way to redress the RCI imbalance would be to destroy Emden and start over -- or -- to build massive amounts of residential.  Since the medium size maps are not really large enough to accommodate both the seaport AND the population, I will have to rely on that "regional concept".  My new city -- Nuenburg -- will be designed to be VERY heavy on residential with only enough commercial to support the city.  There will be VERY little or NO industrial.  This should restore the "regional RCI balance".

So what all this amounts to is that Emden has been something of a failure -- though it has been an invaluable test-bed for the regional experiments.  I guess you have to work much harder to "have your cake and eat it, too"!

EMDEN; Residential Overview


As is readily apparent, there is not a large area devoted to the population.  And as the RCI chart went out of balance, and the residential plans started to unravel, it became increasingly necessary to abandon the more aesthetic elements of the plan, and focus on living space.  It has a somewhat chaotic look to it -- mainly because nothing grew according to plan and changes were made to accommodate larger populations.



When VW moved in to build their massive "autowerk" yet another part of that agreement was that they would develop a small portion of the coast to provide a recreational marina for all those workers they would employ.  That's the story, but the simple fact is that I like all those little boats sailing around out in the ocean.  They keep the whales company!  I do believe I've managed to solve the height problem with the Maxis marinas.



When you look at this, it's not really bad -- as far as "looks" go.  But virtually nothing of high wealth managed to grow here.  I did not really have an option to use low density zoning because of the need to offset the RCI imbalance with more population.  I was kind of hoping for some of those high wealth brownstone buildings in the higher density ranges.  But a decided lack of high tech industry probably squashed that idea.  I probably should have bulldozed the tall buildings (The Pratt), since they overshadow the whole area -- but I really needed the population.




This is actually what I had in mind for the whole neighborhood.  Here (#04) you have two high wealth buildings along the seashore fronted by a parking strip, some park paths, landscaped trees, and neatly packaged by "Blunder's" magnificent seawalls.  Shot #05 is very similar, but the desired buildings never materialized.  Still -- all that said -- it is a nice looking seashore.






This is a small, private marina tucked into the high wealth neighborhood.  Just a couple of mooring quays and a small cafe at the foot of the stairs below the promendade.  A nice little place to lounge away an afternoon, or to get a "stiff belt" after a long day at sea.  The place even has a bandstand in the corner for the music lovers.  Even the seagulls seem to like the place!





What's a beautiful seaside promenade without some sort of monument??  And why not Frederick Der Grosse?  Who else could mold the nation that would inspire this quote -- "Some Countries have armies.  In Prussia -- the Army has a country!"




Again -- this park was intended to be central to a wealthy neighborhood -- hence the elegance.  But I chose not to bulldoze it when the area didn't live up to expectations.  Kind of "Central Park" on a smaller scale.




This area was intended to host three rows of those beautiful "Suburban UK" homes -- but they never materialized.  I bulldozed continuously trying to get them to grow -- but they just would not cooperate.  Does anybody know -- for sure -- what you should zone for these houses?  Is it low density -- or what??  The "readme" materials with the lot are not very specific about how to zone for the UK houses or what "growth stage" they will appear in.  ANY INFO ON THIS WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.





I'm rather fond of this one.  A beautiful old church surrounded by trees and park paths.  There's a bit of parking thrown in and a few custom-lotted sandstone pavers to add some color and "crowds".  Notice in the three pictures how the park paths wind through the central area and tie the whole thing together.





I just happened to stumble across these two buildings in my "stash" and couldn't resist putting them in.  My personal pharmacy is a "Rite Aid".  And my "all-time-EVER" FAVORITE burger joint is "White Castle" !!!  One of my earliest memories is of the regular family outings (usually Saturday afternoons) to get those addictive "sliders" !!  We used to go to one up on Cicero in Oak Lawn (Chicago suburb).  Does anyone know if it is still there ??











That wraps up another installment of The Jade Bight.

ALL COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS MOST WELCOME.  If nothing else -- just tell me if you liked it.  All comments carry some sort of information -- and that was the purpose of the whole CJ.

The Final Installment Of Emden !!



The Jade Bight: 22
Emden 06

The Volkswagenwerk

This week we have the last entry for the harbor of Emden.  Hopefully, I have saved the best for last!

To the west of the harbor basin lies a large expanse of land that was, for centuries, a maze of small streams, ponds, ditches, and salt marsh.  Over the decades, much of it was gradually diked and drained and used for farmland.  The area was surrounded by earthen seawalls, much like the levees found along the Mississippi River or in many parts of the Netherlands.  After the last war, with the miraculous recovery of German manufacturing, industry soon recognized the value of the land, and began building factories and plants all across it.  In the Frisian Industrial Park, a progressive auto manufacturing firm saw an opportunity to create an integrated complex for building and shipping their product that could launch them on a global scale.  And that's why, to this day, a truly gigantic Volkswagen complex sits in a former swamp on the once tidal lands between the Emden Basin and the main shipping channel of the Ems Estuary.






As you can see, the "werk" is truly massive and completely integrated.  The infrastructure includes docks for sea transport, railyard facilities, and access to truck transport as well as the means of transportation for some 23k employees.  It even has its' own fire brigade.




Please note the custom filler lots designed to extend the on-dock car storage and the filler lots with "car-hauler" trucks standing by.  There is also a custom lot for the Dock Control offices, complete with a small controller's tower attached.


The automobiles are moved from the storage lots and loaded onto transport vessels that will ship them all over Europe and the world.  These are Somy's most excellent car ferry lots, for those of you that are interested.



Here you see the factory's railyard facilities.  The Automobiles are loaded onto "car-hauler" train cars and the switcher engines will shuttle them across town to a large siding where they will be made into full trains.  From there the VW's will be shipped inland for European distribution at distant locations.


This is part of the railyard service facilities -- to keep the rolling stock rolling!




The Seedeich Point Lighthouse had been built many, many years before the factory moved in, and is the main navigation beacon for the estuary.  As part of the expansion agreement with the authorities, VW agreed to renovate the lighthouse and landscape the grounds into a small public park.



These are the storage lots where the finished automobiles are kept while awaiting shipment.  These are 1x1 custom filler lots -- and by my rough count (didn't want to stretch my math capabilities) -- there are about a thousand of those little parked beggars!  BIG plant -- needed lots of product storage.



Here you have the truck shipment lots.  The left half of the lot is used to bring in parts and raw materials, while the right half is used to load "hauler" trucks.  These cars will be taken to not-too--distant locations for distribution.  The entire thing is made up of 1x1 and 1x2 lots -- mostly custom filler lots purpose-made for this factory.  Several of the fillers are from NBVC's Container Port Set, while many more were custom-made (re-lotted) from them.


And here you have the employee parking lot for those that don't use the train or the subway.  Again -- all filler lots -- mostly custom-made, with the center lots by T-Wrecks



This is the commuter rail station, right outside the front gate of the complex.  This was built especially to carry all those little "worker ants" that made "beetles" !



Here you see yet another attempt to fill space without actually putting anything there.  On the face of it -- that doesn't make much sense, does it? (lol-lol)  But I have been fighting an ongoing battle with my natural instinct to fill every square with something!  And it's usually more trees!!  I very much would like to use "open terrain space" with the artistry of "Ln X".  I will continue to try -- but fear I will fall far short of his mark.


This will help you tie all the pieces together.









I guess that's about all for this week.  

If you think there is something to add -- please feel free to join in. 

AND -- If there is something you'd like to see  -- a suggestion or two would not go amiss.  I have ideas in the works for future cities, but I can always use something new to think about.

Next week:
Residential Emden!!




The Jade Bight: 21
Emden 05; The West Basin

This week we have yet another -- short -- update on Emden harbor.  I'm still getting bits and pieces of the city completed while tending to other, urgent tasks.  

A massive and ongoing reorganization of my "plugins" folder is occupying almost every free moment I have.  I should be "shot at dawn" for my stupidity.  If you look at almost any member city, in almost any CJ, you cannot fail to notice the "TLC" and "intensive" attention to detail that has been lavished upon these maps.  And yet -- it never crossed my mind that the foundation of such detailed and careful work is in an equally detailed and carefully maintained "plugins" folder!  Simply put;  If your "plugins" gets fat and sloppy, and congested with useless material -- your game slows down to the point of not working.  Meltdown !
And let's not even discuss how "system traumatic" it can be to go into an archaic plugins folder and start trying to make sense of it all.  One must wade through the loose "readme" files that say "I made this stuff", and struggle to figure out the proper place for an unidentified and unidentifiable "dat" file -- and, of course, a free-floating Texture file here and there.  Let's not even get into the Japanese, Spanish, German, French, and Polish material.  Even your above average "bright one" only speaks one or two languages above and beyond their native tongue -- won't go there!  And I won't tell you how ridiculously easy it is to delete important material -- or -- after 8 or 9 hours in front of the screen how EVERYTHING looks like it should be deleted !!!  And just when you think you're all done -- you open one of your cities for a little test run.  OMG !! -- When did the park paths change to red Herringbone brick??  AND -- !!  Where did my hand-crafted, lovingly custom MMP detailed river of Tahoe Water go???
And all this grief came down on me because I decided to try my new-found talents and custom downloaded lots in a LARGE map tile.  
After trying several different approaches in the last 14 cities, I can safely say I have learned a good deal about building realistic cities.  I have learned how to landscape and integrate, and I have also learned how to make them function and grow.  More importantly, I've learned the difference between what "looks good" and what doesn't work.  My sense of scale and space is telling me it's time to move to a large map and try to create a city with room to grow and actually breathe at the same time.  
From what I have read here and there on the forums, most players experience a serious case of "the slows" when they work on a large map and start racking up big population counts.  I know from personal experience that 500k people will NOT fill a large map tile -- but the game will begin to run so slow that paint will actually dry quicker!  
Rule of thumb:  More Sims = more demand on CPU.  
Natural Law:  Every operating system has an upper limit.
And that is why you should keep a neat and tidy -- almost spartan -- plugins folder.  Reading hundreds of useless files slows your system.  And with 500k at stake -- EVERYTHING may be important.
I'm still working on that plugins folder. 

And there will be more tests to run. 

And I've yet to do a re-install on Nam32 to make sure I'm only running the options I need or want.  As has been pointed out to me by a good friend, "RHW" requires MILLIONS of lines of code.  If you don't want to use it -- take it out.  Use the CPU for more important things.  "RHW" sounds a bit like dragging around an elephant on the off chance you might need an ant squashed!! (lol-lol)
And -- I've got one more medium map to do (Nuenberg) -- a few more tests to run on that one.  And a good deal of planning for it as well.
And only then will I try the Large map tile.  So, as you can see, there is a great deal of planning and prep before I embark on that one.
(NOTE:  I have started numbering each picture -- for those of you that have questions or specific comments.)

But -- for now -- We go to The West Basin of Emden Harbor.



Everybody knows what this is -- sort of.  It's one of those marvelous lots created by Somy -- right?  But does anyone actually know how it's supposed to be deployed?  Has anyone actually SEEN a picture by Somy showing how he uses it in a game?  I asked around -- and no one seemed to know how to plop this thing.  It has the lot base under the extended arm -- the rear of the pier looks like it should rest on the shore -- and the front end has concrete "feet".  Well -- I have deployed it (without its' parent unit) the only way it seems to make sense.  But I'd like to hear your theory on how to set it up!!  What's a horse race without another horse?
Right now -- this "thingie" is part of the Mitchell-Brinkman Cement Plant.



The Mitchell-Brinkman Complex has been on this spot for well over 120 years and has undergone very little modernization in the last 70 years.  This plant supplied almost 75% of the raw ingredients that were shipped along the canal to make the concrete for the factories that made the Ruhr one of the world's greatest manufacturing regions.  The extended pier feature was added during the early 1960's to increase the loading space during the building boom of that era.



This is a Concrete Batching Plant located next to the Cement Plant.  This facility supplies the needs for local "fresh" construction concrete as well as providing stocks of bagged "pre-mix" that can be prepared on-site.  Next door is a freight railyard to handle bulk distribution of the raw ingredients to inland sites.



This is Dao Chemicals, next door to the Mitchell-Brinkman yard.  Classic example of a Maxis lot fully detailed with 1x1 and 1x2 filler lots.  
There are people who say you should not use ANY Maxis content and should focus entirely on "custom lot" downloads.  My personal opinion is that some Maxis content is required if you want the game to function properly.  Maxis content (industrial) creates employee traffic, freight truck traffic, jobs, and generates freight train traffic.  Not all "custom download" content will fulfill these functions and can adversely effect the way your city grows and develops.  The custom lots are nice to look at -- but make sure you have a mix to keep the city RCI demands functional.  Dao Chemicals is proof that Maxis lots can be mixed with custom content and look every bit as good with a few filler lots added.



This is a rail yard loading pad for the cement plant.  Bulk cargo consisting of sand or gravel is loaded or unloaded here for use at the plant.  The entire thing is made up of filler lots from downloaded sets (NBVC's Container Port Set) or custom-made  filler lots.  Adds a nice touch.



We bring this tour to a close.

Comments and feedback are VERY welcome.  If you see something you don't understand -- want to know where it came from -- or think it's dumb!!  Please say something!  Why would anything ever get better if no one says it's bad??

Next Week:
Emden 06 -- Car Shopping !!




The Jade Bight: 20
Emden 04;

The North Mole

This week I bring you another update on the harbor at Emden.  It is a bit shorter than most updates, but Emden is still a work in progress -- and there have been other difficulties as well.
I'm hoping to be able to finish Emden -- even if it is in bits and pieces.


The North Mole area was one among several modernizations carried out in the harbor between the wars.  Large scale dredging operations opened up the marsh area to the north of the main channel and extended piers were built to accommodate the newer cargo vessels coming into service.  The North Railyard was added at the same time and an extended freight handling yard was also built to service the new piers.




It is worth noting that even with all this modernization, some parts of the original infrastructure remain.  The cluster of brick warehouses in this picture date from approximately 1905 and are still in use to this day.



Rayden Transfer has moved into the area in recent years and has become the chief mover for most of the freight coming off the ships.  It has been so busy that a small extension yard was added only recently.


In response to some comments on the CJ, I have attempted to fill a little less of the map with trees.  I have reduced the heavily forested areas and primarily used them as a means to divide certain parts of the city.  But I find that open space is a concept I have not quite been able to wrap my head around.  As you can see, I can't resist the urge to somehow "decorate" what are supposed to be "open areas".  I am still working on this idea.  All suggestions and advice will be most welcome.

Even with progressive building programs, parts of the harbor remained resistant to change.  The large mole on the west side of the shipping basin remained much as it was because Domino Sugar owned the property and refused to consider improvements.  At one time, they occupied almost all of the mole, but over the years, they modernized and built the large, new plant at the end of the mole.  This freed up property that Domino could lease on a long-term basis and several companies moved in.


This is a classic example of a Maxis lot that can be decked-out with fences, parking, cranes, and trucks -- to very good effect.  And it has the advantage that it will provide jobs as well as creating employee and freight traffic in your industrial zones.


An example of a "custom" lot that was not exactly "chock-a-block" with details.  A good plant, but in need of a bit of help.  The use of T-Wreck's IRM fillers, a few truck and crane filler lots, and we back it up against the Old Harbor Quays with the old-fashioned cranes and it looks much better.


Another shot of the custom "re-lotted" IRM Gas Storage Tanks backed up against the Old Harbor Quays.


As you can see -- Domino eventually wound up occupying about a third of the mole area.  The very fine custom lot overlooks the harbor much as it's real life counterpart does.  I've finished detailing it by adding parking lots, trucks, cargo, and the Old Harbor Quays with their cranes and cargo to be loaded.  The place is an absolute "hive" of industry.  And -- the night lighting is a "must see" feature.











There's an end to this week's installment.  
I've still got some work to finish up on Emden -- and it is slow going.  There have been a few setbacks -- not everything works the way it's supposed to.  So the work in progress will be less grandiose than planned.  And the "regional" theory has come into stark conflict with too much custom content.  Which will require drastic measures to save the region from economic collapse.  So -- it will be several more weeks before Emden has been completed.

In the meantime, I have serious "plugins" problems requiring ALL my attention.  I have neglected to do my "housekeeping chores" and the plugins folder is "The Devils Own Nightmare" -- to put it mildly.  I've been trying to straighten it out for the last five days and during the process, I succeeded in accidentally deleting the Domino Sugar content as well as my Tahoe Water app.  Sometimes I can be all thumbs !!!   I did manage to retrieve that  situation -- but there are bound to be more errors during the course of what promises to be a long and VERY tedious process.

Once done -- I will build one more city in the region to test the new "plugins" configuration.  If that is a success -- then I'll have to decide whether or not to carry on with this region or begin a new one.  I've come to the conclusion that the small and medium sized maps are all but useless, and my cities would look much better on the large sized map tiles.  The large maps would better accommodate the sense of scale and space I'm looking for in my cities.

Next Week:
Emden 05 -- The West Basin




The Jade Bight 19:  Emden 03
Harbor East Side

I offer up, this week, one more installment of the Jade Bight featuring the port city of Emden.
I'm still behind in my "architectural pursuits" -- so this is just a piece of what will one day be a finished city.  I'm afraid my system has started acting up a bit, and now requires a brutal purge of my "plugins" folder and a thorough reorganization.  This is bad timing -- but may work out well in the end.  I'm planning on beginning construction in a Large map soon, so improving my operating system functionality can only pay dividends in the end.



This is a very nice model of the Owosso Beet Sugar Plant.  The lot is fairly compact and is rail traffic enabled so you can run the trains right into the plant.  It does offer a fair amount of jobs and adapts itself to many different configurations.  In this case, I've positioned it for port access on one side, rail on the other, and road at the end.  Very versatile.


Across the tracks from Owosso, you see the East Side Freight Yard.  I have arranged the city rail system to access all four sides of the harbor, as well as providing a port or a freight yard on each of the four sides to handle the traffic.  This will keep freight trips short and avoid congestion in the road system.  (It also means I get to watch the choo choo trains run !!  You know how boys are about their trains -- lol!)




This is a small patch of dirty industry tucked in between the freight yard and the highway coming in from Wilhelmshaven.  The general neighborhood is well situated to take advantage of both the rail and highway communications.



And here you have two close-up detail views showing what can be done with IRM and custom filler lots.  Simple Maxis industrial lots can be transformed into "living, breathing" factories with all the detail you could wish for.  The beauty of continuing to use a mix of Maxis industrial, is that it will generate jobs for your citizens -- create employee and freight traffic on your map (visual effect is important) -- and will help balance your RCI demand without blowing it away.  Too much custom content can bring on economic disaster in your city.




This is a wonderful visual representation of the old spice company, and IT IS NOT to be missed.  This is a must for any industrial zone.  The detail is excellent, the lot has been laid out very well, and it leaves room for further detailing.  It is also well suited to placement alongside harbors.  BUT -- use this lot CAREFULLY!!  It provides 4k jobs and can wreck your RCI balance in a heartbeat!!  Once the game is out of balance, you may find it impossible to restore the natural growth patterns in your city -- and possibly even in your region.


Here you see some of the older quays still in use in the harbor.  While many piers and quays have been modernized over the years, these still await renovation.  The Port Authority has not yet seen fit to allocate funds to purchase those big, modern cargo cranes, so the old-fashioned crawler cranes still work the quayside.






For you "night owls" -- here are a few night shots.










I couldn't resist this one -- (lol)!  Here's a 12m yacht working his way into the ship canal past the "big boys" !!

That's it for this week.

Emden -- The North Mole.



The Jade Bight 18:
Emden 02  -- The South Mole

This week we return to the port city of Emden for another installment.  I would rather present the entire city as a whole, but my time has been limited of late -- so I'm afraid it's going to have to be more bits and pieces as they are completed.  This time we are going to inspect the South Mole of the harbor.

Emden has long been a thriving commercial port -- roughly, since the 8th Century -- but it's commercial growth began in earnest around 1870.  When the ship canal was completed in the late 1800's, the city was connected to the massive industrial capacity of the Ruhr and became the chief port of the region.  It has been expanded and modernized over the decades and grew in size and freight handling capability with the construction of new docks and the expansion of older facilities.


The South Mole is the result of a massive project involving the construction of seawalls followed by back-filling with rubble and spoil dredged from the bottom of the harbor.  A mole is much like a quay in appearance, and yet distinctly different.  Docks are, traditionally, a short structure built to extend out from the shore.  Piers are long, free-standing platforms built out from the shore.  And a quay is usually the reinforced or "improved" bank of a canal, river, or harbor used for loading or mooring purposes.  As you can see -- a mole is a much larger and more permanent structure.


As the industrial might of the Ruhr increased, so did the demand on the facilities at Emden.  More dredging -- more seawalls -- and more land area was required to host the docks, cranes, warehouses, and other necessary infrastructure.  Over time, the shorelines were stabilized with rip-rap walls and masonry embankments, and the mole was built up to include portions of the ship canal and even room for industry.


Extensive facilities were built to handle container vessels in the later half of the 20th Century, and the rail line spur was extended as far as the end of the mole.  The Mole was considered ideal for the larger container ships because it required less maneuvering to berth them there.

SOUTH MOLE -- Docks:

Here you see the Vandy Line Shipping docks.  This is a break-bulk facility and it is freight-enabled to handle the industrial needs of the city.  The main lighthouse sits on the tip of the mole to mark the entrance to the harbor.  There is a small gas works storage facility, and the outer side of the mole has been left in a "natural" state to help prevent soil errosion.


This is a Matson Line container ship recently moored and awaiting unloading operations to begin.  This is a small container yard meant to accommodate that type of freight -- but nothing on the scale of the container operation to be found in Bremerhaven (more on that in future).


And the SS Ned Lloyd will begin loading containers later this morning.

SOUTH MOLE -- Close-ups

Yo, "raynev" -- thanx again for your assistance.  If you notice -- that's a 3x2 "re-lot" of the "gas storage tanks" you pinpointed for me.  I also did a 3x1 for smaller places.  (There should also be semi-rigs parked on this lot -- should have waited to take the picture!)




You will find many pieces of the NBVC Container Port Kit in these shots.  And you will see loads of 1x1 and 1x2 custom filler lots for freight and trucks.  There is also an occasional larger filler lot, including some "re-lotted" PEG and Maxis warehouses and industrial buildings.  One thing I noticed about seaport lots, is that they include very little in the way of warehouses or attendant infrastructure.  I decided to supply the details with small filler lots that could be placed into tight areas to form as large a compound as you might wish.  These warehouses have turned out especially well, and T-Wrecks' IRM filler lots have provided much more realistic container stacks.


This picture shows how the two areas come together.


This is the Hughes Heavy Industries Complex -- Building One and Building Two.  I was looking for some very tall industrial buildings (like Hardun Heavy Metals) to use around the harbor, but they seem to be in short supply.  After a long search, it was necessary to make do with what could be found, so I "re-lotted" the Maxis "Dead Forest Paper".  A few subtle changes and you can create two buildings that make up the core of a large compound.  Again, adding in the detail makes all the difference.  I also decided to throw in a "catchment pond" just to break up the man-made clutter.


This view of the Hughes Plant shows the extensive use of concrete areas that I have been experimenting with.  My previous industrial areas made too much use of trees in what should have been a large expanse of concrete slabs and industrial grunge.  Paeng's concrete grunge and diagonal fillers came in very handy.  I haven't used them much in the past -- but they have added immeasurably to my "concrete experiment".  I also "finessed" a change in elevation from "dock level" to normal "ground level" by using retaining walls to separate the large parking area from  the plant.  (The first time I have used large parking lots coupled with industry.  More realistic -- yes?)  And, I incorporated a rail station across the road from the parking lot to accommodate large numbers of commuter workers.

For those of you that enjoy the night shots -- here ya' go !!








We come, again, to the end of the tour.  I hope you have enjoyed it.

PLEASE feel free to comment or make suggestions.  They are always welcome !!

As has been suggested by "Ln X", I have started experimenting with more "grassland" or "cleared" areas in the other parts of Emden still under construction.  I tend to agree -- the heavy forested areas can be a bit overwhelming.  So we shall see how that goes.  BIG THANX to "Ln X" for the suggestion.

Next week --
Emden -- The East Side.




Jade Bight 17:
Emden 01 -- Ems-Jade Ship Canal Entrance

I bring another installment of The Jade Bight -- this time in the form of an "up-date" on the port city of Emden.  It's going to be a bit of a short story, I'm afraid.  
I managed to get behind in my city-building, so I will be bringing you Emden in bits and pieces -- or a neighborhood at a time.  All depends on what gets finished.

EMS - JADE SHIP CANAL: West Entrance - 4 Views




The first thing you notice about the canal's shipping channel, is that it is unobstructed.  I searched high and low on several different websites but could not find a set of canal locks large enough to use with seagoing vessels.  The available lock sets are simply too small.  I even made a futile attempt at trying to jam stuff together to make something that might resemble a canal lock -- but finally had to give up.  If there is a VERY ambitious "batter" among you, this would be a good project.
You will also notice that the dimensions of the canal have been calculated to present a realistic appearance that would also allow for the easy passage of shipping.  Nothing to big and nothing too small.
The problem with a canal, is that you need to put a bridge across it -- and a SHIP canal requires a very tall bridge.  These bridges appear to be very tall when viewed in context to the surrounding terrain, but they are well within scale and actually remind you of bridges found along the Kiel Canal.


Here you see a container ship tied up along the embankment seawall waiting it's turn to transit the canal entrance.  While there is enough room for two ships, it is thought best to enter and leave the channel one at a time to avoid possible collisions while ship's Masters adjust to the confined spaces.  (Hence the need for "control stations" -- which would have controlled the lock gates if we could have found a suitable set.)
Along the embankment promenade you see the South Side Control station, a maintenance and administrative office and, of course, the canal navigation beacon.  Once again, I was unable to find a suitable navigational light -- nothing in-between a full scale lighthouse and a tiny blinking light -- so I simply used a lighthouse.  One must make do with what One has available.
The end of the mole provides an excellent ocean overlook and equally spectacular views of the numerous ships using the canal.  There is a nice little open air cafe beside the lighthouse with several parks and even a few businesses strung out along the length of the mole.  It is a favorite weekend sightseeing spot as well as serving the "well-to-do" that have taken up residence along the canal.  



Here you have two very exclusive condominiums surrounded by parks both front and rear -- including one with the obligatory statue of some military hero.


Here we see a close-up of a container ship passing beneath the railroad and highway bridges.  It is entirely possible these bridges are, in fact, tall enough for warships -- for those of you that have expressed an interest.  Always plan for every eventuality!
On the north bank of the canal you see The Roosevelt -- a VERY posh Condo.


On the north bank you will also find the cafes, parks, and maintenance facilities, along with a few businesses.  


But the north bank of the canal squeezes up against the industry surrounding Emden's main harbor, and you have a bit of the industrial sprawl here.  Mostly High Tech firms with a smattering of manufacturing.  All very quiet -- and very unobtrusive.  No need to shock the rich people with the horrors of a working environment.

I know it's shorter than most, but "that's a wrap" on this week's installment of The Jade Bight.  With any luck, I'll be able to finish a lot more of the city and give you a bunch of stuff to look at.

Comments and suggestions MOST welcome !!  Some of you out there MUST have good imaginations -- a few suggestions might help my fatigued level of inspiration.

Next week --
more Emden !



Jade Bight 16: Zetel


The Jade Bight 16:

Thank you for dropping in on yet another installment of The Jade Bight!  I'm very happy to see we've developed a bit of a following among the members, and I'm quite pleased you seem to be enjoying it.  We do get quite a few views, but I've noticed the feedback has dropped off.  I had hoped we would receive more advice and possibly a few suggestions as to how to proceed with the region.  I do, of course, have definite ideas for future development -- but a tad of wild inspiration would not go amiss.  I even tried (out of desperation) a few trivia facts to inspire some ambitious soul to comment -- with no result.  
But that is neither here nor there.  
After enjoying the equestrian delights of Nordholz, we board a southbound train and travel in first class comfort the few miles to the quiet little village of Zetel --



Zetel is another of the small "service" maps of the region and, as such, the village offers a source of power and provides trash removal services for it's larger neighbors.  Zetel is also situated between the major port facilities of Emden and Wilhelmshaven and carries the main transportation lines linking the two cities.  In addition to highway and rail links, Zetel has continued to expand on both sides of a third main transport artery -- The Ems-Jade Ship Canal.  The canal was finished early in the last century and was designed to provide a safe water transport route inland of the North Sea while stimulating growth and commerce in the low country regions.  The small river port on the east end of the village, combined with the rail link, provided the stimulus to bring industry and progress to the sleepy hamlet.  To my knowledge, no one has yet portrayed a major ship canal in a game map (at least not one spanning more than a single map).



Here you see all of the administrative needs of the village gathered together in a central location and linked by a nice park system -- not too fancy, but well-kept.  Once again, "Mattb325" has provided us with a "council Chamber" (Warringah) to serve as a City Hall.  These "chambers" are absolutely ideal to use on the small maps or even in local neighborhoods of the larger maps.  They are just big enough to look "administrative" while not being overly ostentatious for a small town.




The passenger station is located just off the main highway on the road into town.  It is fronted by a large parking area shared by the business district.  I thought it a nice way to "double-purpose" the, more or less, wasted spaces of parking.  I just finished reading an article discussing the study of parking in large cities as well as the migration of "millennials" to cities.  It predicts that even as "millennials" move in from the suburbs, at least 1/3 of all parking in major cities will be removed or re-purposed.  The study finds that "millennials" do not like to own cars and will soon  change social driving habits.  Imagine that !!
The freight station is a combination of download (for the freight capacity) and filler lots, some of which have been re-purposed for railroad use.




Here we have a shot of Canal Street.  (Where else -- ?  Alongside the canal!)  Notice the park frontage along the ship canal, as well as park or wooded areas on either side.  It was supposed to be some of that high-dollar real estate along the water, but don't look for mansions in small towns or villages.  The $$$ wealth residential from Maxis, with a few custom download lots to add a bit of variety will do nicely for up-scale neighborhoods.  Mansions should be reserved for that "One Percent" we hear so much about.


No -- it's not the London Theater District.  But it is the west end of the village with a little business goin' on and a cozy little residential area.


Pretty much everything was supposed to be on the north side of the canal, but as time went on, it became apparent that the village would have to sprawl to the south bank.  
For the purists among you -- there are bridges across the canal to the west and east of Zetel.  It was not deemed necessary -- or even desireable -- to construct a large and ugly bridge in such a picturesque little village.


We have provided the necessary amenities to the south bank -- fire services, employment, etc.  And an attempt was made to use the wide, sweeping NAM curves to fill up some of the space without making it look too systematic.


I have attempted to portray a wooded area, somewhat sparsely populated, not heavily built-up, and not crowding the banks of the ship canal.  After studying many pictures of German canals, especially the Kiel Canal, it was obvious the canals were largely bordered by rural areas -- wooded, farm fields, or the occasional business or home.  Not much industry -- and certainly none outside a large city.


Here we have a small, outdoor cafe perched on the bank of the ship canal.  (Front view.)  It provides a sunny, open area where locals might spend a Saturday afternoon over a good meal while watching the ships go by.  It is typical of several I found in pictures.  There is also parkland along the canal as well as "natural" areas.  And I draw your attention to the path running through the woods between the apartments and the cafe.  Show me a neighborhood cafe without a path through the woods, and I'll show you a Health Department violation!


Yet another shot of a small neighborhood on the edge of town -- the path leads to the park and nature spaces along the canal.


The pictures I studied turned up several examples of parks and over-look spots that were created during the construction of the ship canal -- some with fairly impressive statues.  This was supposed to be another high-dollar housing area with a fine park, but the homes just never developed (probably because they were isolated on the south bank).


This is a coffee shop on the north side of the ship canal.  It is easily reached from the heart of the village, as well as being conveniently linked to the "ritzy" Canal Street neighborhood by the park.


I wanted a single large factory to be the industrial focus of the village, and hit on this one.  It was compact, the right size, and I was planning to use it in another map -- so why not test it here?  AND -- when I plopped it down, I discovered this thing has got to hold the RECORD for re-lotting !!  I swear it has THE MOST prop buildings and pieces "mashed and pushed" together to make a single complex that actually looks like something ! (lol - lol)  You could run a raffle contest to guess how many structural props are combined on this lot! :rofl:



The Ems-Jade Ship Canal is wide enough for two ocean-going vessels to pass one another without difficulty.  It is not wide enough for large vessels to change direction (reverse course).  When there are serious accidents, the ship's captain will endeavor to move his vessel against and parallel to the bank.  If they fail to do so, it is possible the vessel will swing beam-on and block the entire channel.  
The in-game canal was made wide enough to simulate the reality.  Two large ocean-going ships can pass one another -- with care -- but the ship canal is not wide enough for anything else.  The PEG scows, however, are the perfect size for use in the ship canal.  The directional turns in the canal have mostly been eliminated from the map design, but will be handled a bit differently on the Wilhelmshaven map.

The small river port was designed to take advantage of water transport.  No small village on a canal would be without a commercial landing of some sort.  Since Zetel is a small village, the port is very small.  It was an idea to see what could be done with the available game lots and a few custom re-lots.  I will expand this theme a bit when I get around to making maps with big rivers to work on.  An inland city on a major river will have to have major river-born commerce and a port system to go with it.


That concludes this week's journey of exploration through The Jade Bight.  I do hope you've enjoyed this little trip.

All advice and comments are most welcome (except when complaining about my fetish for obelisks :kitty: - lol-lol).  And if you've got an idea for me to work with -- don't be bashful about saying something.  The more the merrier !!

With the publication of this installment, I will be going on a brief hiatus.  I have been working on some special projects for a friend, and this has cut back my time spent actually building a city.  The major port of Emden is the current work in progress, and it has a lot of details to be worked out.  The fact that I gave up tobacco after 50 years seems to have hurt my productivity as well.  I think nicotine was my version of "speed" !

I don't know how long this is going to take, and I may very well wind up publishing Emden in "pieces" just to "keep my hand in", so to speak.

Coming soon ---




The Jade Bight 15:

Having toured the hideaway of the rich and reclusive in Greeseil for our last installment, we now travel southeast -- and once again, away from the sea.  We will be spending a bit of time in the small and very prosperous village of Nordholz.  The thriving hamlet is nestled in the smooth and fertile heart of the North German Plain mid-way between the bustling seaport of Emden on the west and the major maritime center of Wilhelmshaven on the east.  Surrounded by all that industry and commerce, it is small wonder that Nordholz opted for more agrarian pursuits.

I have chosen another small map to work on this time.  There will be one more small map to follow this one as I work my way around the edges of a medium map and a large map.  Having decided to attempt working on a more "regional" approach, it is important that smaller surrounding maps be populated before attempting the medium and large ones.  I'm working on the theory that the larger maps will be able to focus more on industry and commerce without having to take up too awful much space with residential zones.  It may or may not work -- since smaller maps do not sport large populations, either.  But we shall see when we reach installment #17.  

NORDHOLZ: Overview

This is my second effort at a farming community -- and it has had mixed results.  I don't have as much experience with farms as I have with other types of zones, so I figured a little practice would be in order.  I downloaded and installed the BSC Fields material and found the results disappointing.  The BSC farms grow quite readily, but the results are not nearly as impressive as the SPAM lots.  I had to resort to heavy detailing and a good deal of filler lots to offset the difference.  I did devote a bit more space to the farms in an effort to improve the scale aspect.  Small farms are OK -- but I feel they are more realistic on a larger scale.  I did extensive work with fences and invested heavily in MMP work to try and boost the realism.  I find that I am drawn more to "livestock" farms than crops, and these will require even larger acreage to implement.  I will soon be doing a medium sized map based on agriculture, and this one has been good practice, as well as providing ideas for the future.



Nordholz is bordered on the east by Wilhelmshaven (a large map), and will be providing a power source and trash removal services for that major port city.  I assume a single, medium-sized, Nuclear facility will be enough to supply the needs of Wilhelmshaven.  But -- since it will be home to the bulk of the heavy units of the Imperial Fleet, as well as being a seaport and industrial center -- I have made arrangements for another "sister city" to be available as well.  Wouldn't be too bright to build a gigantic military / industrial complex if you can't keep the lights on! (lol)


A small and slightly upscale neighborhood in the southeast corner of the village.  I still haven't managed to get away from the "grid patterns" of the game, but I do think I'm getting better at breaking it up a bit and disguising the grid to some degree.


I do like those BSC parkways!!  They are amazingly flexible and maintain a simplicity that is almost "minimalist beauty" in itself.


I tried to keep the civic clutter down to a minimum and managed to concentrate it at the "hub" of the roads coming in from the four edges of the map -- much like real small towns.  And you have to look closely in order to tell it's the main intersection.


I've been downloading a bunch of "City Halls" and "Council Chambers" (Matt325b makes some very good ones!) -- but I was between downloads when I needed one for Nordholz.  I trotted out the small Maxis City Hall and dressed it up a bit.  I never actually considered how many "City Halls" (or substitutes) you need to provide variety for a region.


You've got to have a good, dependable, train station to keep those commuters headed for Wilhelmshaven!!


Nice little park on the west edge of town with a path leading through the woods to the local riding school.


I had such fun with a horse ranch on the last agriculture map -- I decided to expand on the theme a bit.  This is "Red Ryder Arabians" -- an equestrian ranch of the first water.  (And -- for you trivia buffs among us -- there's a Saturday matinee trivia question worth 50 points in that name !!)  This is a combination farm, horse breeding ranch, boarding stable, and equestrian school -- all rolled into one!  It's owned by a wealthy breeder named "Jay Rockyfeller" and he's not only amassed more than twice the acreage of my last effort, but his operation is quite extensive.


The school is on the right with a parking lot and public entrance for the pupils and folks that pay to board their horses here (a select clientele).  Just below that you find a paddock with two stables.  And across the road are the hay barns, feed silos, etc, etc.




Here's a close-up of the well kept stables.  One crowd is gathered down by the horse trailers -- socializing (some folks ride -- some just come for the society).  At the other end of the paddock, you see a small group at the hitching post -- mounting up and preparing to head for the bridal paths.  All the while, some of "Jay's" prized Arabian Greys enjoy munching the clover, while others gather at the corner to watch the traffic.  (I forgot to let the cars run before taking the picture!)





Here you see the "Rockyfeller" homestead.  Jay thought about building a mansion -- but decided the paddock in front of the house could be put to better use.  "Jay's" wife is partial to rhubarb pie -- that's what's growin' on the back twenty.  They often invite the farmer from across the road to dinner -- G. Keilor -- rhubarb pie for desert is his favorite! (Another 50 trivia points up for grabs!)




This is Rye Farm -- a good size spread -- but a short name.  But then again -- that's what he grows.  G. Keilor is a man of few words, though elegantly simple.  They say his humor is much like his crop.  (If you haven't figured out the last trivia question -- this was another hint!)




This is "Korngold Farms" -- pun intended -- 'cause he grows corn!!  Erich Wolfgang Korngold's family has farmed this land since written records were first kept.  Notice the two family dwellings.  The smaller one belongs to Errol, his first born son, who will one day inherit the land and quite possibly go on to be the royal governor of the province.  (The trivia question burried in there is worth 100 points!  I saved the toughest one for last.)

We come again to the end of this week's journey.  I hope you enjoyed it.

Please leave a comment and feel free to offer advice or criticism.

Next week we will spend a few pleasant moments in an outdoor cafe in the unlikely little village of --

-- Zetel  




Jade Bight 14:

Welcome back to The Jade Bight !!  
This entry may be a bit on the short end.  These small maps don't have a lot of space, nor do they hold a lot of stuff.  And this one, especially, is smaller than most.  This particular map was merely a small piece of dirt to fill in the normal curve of the adjacent shorelines.  The regional map would have looked odd without it being filled in, and with no space to work with, I decided I would give it over to "eye-candy".

Greeseil -- as it turns out -- is "The Newport Of The North Sea".  For those of you unfamiliar with Newport, Rhode Island, it was absolutely "THE" place for the rich folks to hang out.  Of course, that was back at the turn of the last century -- when "Robber Barons" stalked the environs of Wall Street like the predators they were, and "High Society" was so rich it was considered "bad form" to know exactly how much money you were worth!  Every summer, when the temperature in the confines of New York became unbearable, "The Rich" would pick up and move their family and belongings to the beaches of Newport Rhode Island where they could bask in the onshore breezes.  And, of course, it would not do for "The Rich" to "live rough" in rented beach houses -- so they built pleasant and comfortable "cottages" along the shore.  The old saying is..."Nothing succeeds like excess".  So these so-called cottages came complete with ornate gardens, polo grounds, private docks and beaches, and a third floor to accommodate the servants!!!  Nothing like a tidy little cottage beside the sea -- right? (lol)

And Greeseil is little different from those good old days.  The rich come to relax at the seaside and the celebrity crowd come to hide from the paparazzi.  They build or buy vast homes, throw lavish parties, and hide behind the mansion walls.  A small village provides a minimum of support for the rich estates crowding the beaches -- mostly shops and restaurants.

GREESEIL: Four views





As you can see -- it is a VERY small place, and mostly centered on the estates.


Many house guests at the big estates arrive by sea and the inlet is frequently crowded with fancy yachts and motor cruisers.


My friend "Moby" is well known to the Society crowd and frequently turns up at their gatherings.


There is a small channel light perched on the tip of the sand spit that provides safe anchorage for the yachts.  You will note the sand dunes slowly working thier way down into the trees.  The vegetation has been planted in an attempt to stabilize the sand dunes to prevent them filling in the inlet.  This was my first attempt at making something that looked like a sand dune.  I think they turned out quite well.










They say it was purchased several years ago by a slightly overweight man wearing very dark glasses.  The few that have seen him, say he speaks very little and then in what they think is an accent from the American South (Thank you -- Thank you very much!).  He pretty much keeps to himself, but late at night passing people say they can hear the strains of a song wafting through the grounds  -- "Are you lonesome, tonight?" -- they think.  Or the song could have something to do with hound dogs.


On the left you have the lovely estate built by Barby Winterton and passed down to her descendants.  On the right is the large and well-appointed Anna Deane mansion built some years ago, but recently purchased by a rich American from New York.  The new owner -- a Jay Catsby, or possibly Gatsby -- is very private and does not get much beyond the estate grounds, but they  say his frequent and lavish parties are positively legendary!



Been looking for a place to use this for some time.  This looked just as good as anywhere else.


Nothing like winding up a good hunt with a stiff pint !!


You will notice that all the estates have a rear entrance connecting to the sportzplatz.  What's a big estate without a clay tennis court -- right??  And the same parkland walks also connect the big houses to the Fox Hunter Pub, the restaurants, shops, and even the luxury hotel.


There are two reasonably "ritzy" restaurants in town, and one -- "Little Red's" -- is a great place for breakfast after a late night.  "Red" keeps her place open all hours and it's not unusual to see that guy from Graceland in there late at night -- looking for scrambled eggs, grits, and a double cheeseburger!!
The "Shang-ri-La" Hotel was built some years back to accommodate the "day-trippers", the curious, and those that wished to run with the big dogs but couldn't really afford a mansion.  It sports a five-star restaurant with floor show, and did a moderate business until Catsby -- or Gatsby -- came to the village.  Since the very beginning, the hotel has been the catch-all for the spillover from his extreme parties.  It is not uncommon to see numerous young people littering the grounds and lobby in various stages of intoxication.  (Not to mention a few old geezers with blondes half their age!)

NIGHT SHOTS:  Only two --


OKAY -- that brings this installment to an end.  
Hope you enjoyed it !!  Leave a comment and any advice you feel willing to impart.

You know -- it's kind of amazing what you can end up with when all you started out to do was experiment with sand dunes !! 

Many thanx to Tariely for helping me find some really high-dollar mansions !

Next on the list --



Jade Bight 13:

Once again, I welcome you to another edition of The Jade Bight.  I know I scared all of you silly last time with all that "landlubber" stuff -- so this time we have a bit of ocean for you.  Not as much as you might like -- but just enough to prevent withdrawal symptoms from setting in !! (lol)  But to tell the truth, the map focus is anywhere but the ocean.

Aurich is a small town just north of the major shipping port of Emden.  The main purpose of the town is to provide a variety of services to its' larger neighbor.  Emden requires a source of power, someone to provide trash removal services, and a route for the major rail and highway lines coming south out of Norden. Keeping this in mind, Aurich already had four vital tasks to accomplish before I even began to experiment with the layout.

AURICH: Three views



You will note that I have kept the highway and rail lines to the east and south of the town, leaving the bulk of the map free for other uses.

Shoreline North:

Marina District:

Someone mentioned (quite some time ago) that my marinas didn't have any shops or restaurants, and that they were not well integrated into the rest of the community.  Well, this little map has offered me an opportunity to work on that problem (albeit at a smaller scale).  


This is my first attempt at integrating a restaurant into a marina -- Cap'n Jack's seemed to be the obvious choice.  Unfortunately, the original author of the lot probably intended to work it into a waterfront setting with more shops and restaurants -- as well as a custom designed boardwalk to match the one on the front of the building.  I had to get creative to make the lot look worth the effort.  I used some PEG's boardwalk pieces to frame the building, and used Becca's Parking Lots to wrap around the insides.  (What's a restaurant without parking -- right?)  Due to road access requirements, it necessitated a somewhat tricky arrangement.  I backed the whole thing up against my custom "seawall promenade" (sandy colored brick pavers), threw in a bit of free-form landscaping, and polished up the edges with some nice "Paeng's" parkways.  Not bad for "a one-off" !


I've used some close-up images to show the detail work that went into building this marina.  These are, of course, my custom Nordsee Marina Lots based on "Benoit's St. Tropez" set.  Behind the marina quay lots, you see a line of Paeng's parkway pieces. (Very nice stuff.  Thanx to Tariely for convincing me to look into them!)  Across the road from them we see a median strip with pathways, parking, and Paeng's small market.  And behind that you see the edge of a nice R$$$ neighborhood.  


If you look closely, in the corner of the marina you will see a newsstand kiosk right beside a pair of public conveniences.


In this corner, you have another newsstand -- this time beside an "Urban Garden" gift shop.  You will also note, across the street, we have an up-scale hotel and other businesses.


Finally, at the upper end, you have convenient parking for either the marina, or the business opposite.  Note the landscape detail worked into the entire area.



Shows the mouth of Aurich Creek.



This time I wanted a restaurant that wasn't actually on the water but would look good backed up against a seawall promenade.  "Casa Azteca" looked like it might be just about right (not too expensive -- but not cheap-o-deluxe either).  So I removed the pier from the front, made a few adjustments to the lot (hedges, etc), ringed it with parking, worked in some BSC parkways, and connected it up to the Paeng parkways around the marina.  Not bad.




I needed some parking spaces in the business area, so I opted to put them in rear of the buildings, and then fill an odd-shaped corner with a park.  What you can accomplish with those little park pieces is amazing.




Someone also recommended that I try a few "Ill Tonkso" office parks.  Since this is a small map, I decided not to get carried away.  But I like them !!  Nice job count -- pretty good landscaping -- easy to plop -- and vaguely repetitive buildings used to make a pattern.  I'll get creative when I have a bigger map to work with.






I figured this was a good map to really try a few experiments with Tahoe Water -- like using bridges -- and actually working it into a complicated map with restricted space.  And before anyone asks -- the creek starts with a fresh water spring in the pond beside the power plant.  I'd appreciate any comments you would care to make.  Any time I'm trying new things, it always helps to have some feedback.  Pay special attention to the cleared areas along the banks of the creek.  This is a new idea of mine to leave some open spaces on a map rather than covering the whole thing with solid trees.  Let me know what you think !!


Not much to light up -- but here you go --


There you are folks -- the end of one more trip through The Jade Bight.

Please leave comments and feedback.  I can always use something else to work on !!

Next time ---
Greeseil: The "Newport" of the North Sea!




The Jade Bight: 12

I have yet another offering for you from The Jade Bight.  This time we get away from all that lovely seaside scenery and look in on a small farming village.  Ostbuttel is a bit different in that it is not intended to be a small German village with those lovely European-flavored buildings all the tourists come to see.  Nor is it supposed to be "small town USA" right out of the movies.  There are a lot of members doing some really great work depicting small, Mid-Western farming towns with loving detail -- because that's where they grew up -- or it's where they live.  I think I'll leave that act to the players who are already filling the part so well.

Ostbuttel is, simply put, like any other town you might find on the shores of the Jade Bight -- just without water -- and with farms.  This is my first map without an ocean -- so that is a bit odd for me.  And it is my first attempt at using farms.  In the old game, people just ignored farms because Sc4 was really not designed for farms.  It was not intended to support an agriculture based economy.  Luckily, the wonderful people at PEG gave us SPAM -- and now we can treat farming just like any other industry.  It also means I had to learn an entirely new set of crafts in order to make a nice-looking farm.  The SPAM farms are beautiful little things and deserve to be handled with respect.  

As usual, it was difficult to try and squeeze everything needed into a small map -- and just as difficult to maintain some sort of scale.  The farms probably should have been larger, but there was little space -- and I was just happy to see them actually grow where I wanted them.  And, I had to work out entirely new methods of landscaping to go along with farms.  But -- I digress.  Without further adieu -- I give you Ostbuttel --

OSTBUTTEL: Two views


TOWN CENTER:  Two views








SMALL WHEAT FARM: First ever farm

TWO FARMS: Barley & Rye - Switch Grass

LARGE FARM:  Rye & Fruit Trees -- Two Views





That wraps this one, folks !!

I know it was short, the small maps don't have as much stuff to cover.  If you have any questions -- feel free to ask.  I answer all comments -- most of the time! (lol) 

Also --  I thought I'd dispense with the elaborate "back-stories" -- some may get a laugh out of them, while others think they are a bit "over the top".  Either way, that's a lot of work just to explain why you put an obelisk in a certain spot.  Maybe I just like obelisks!  All statues and monuments are "window dressing" anyway -- and in real life you find them in some of the most outlandish places.  There's a little town in north Georgia -- Dalton, by name.  And they've got a statue of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston smack in the middle of an intersection.  Was probably put there when people were still driving a horse and buggy.  Makes you wonder why they didn't make a roundabout.  The way it is now -- some drunk comes through on a Saturday night and they'll be picking up very small pieces of the General on Sunday morning! 

Next time:
Aurich !




Island Of Sylt

Welcome back to The Jade Bight and the ongoing developments along the North Sea.  Again, I encourage all visitors to leave a comment and offer an opinion or two as you see fit.  All advice is welcome.

This time we will travel to the Island of Sylt:


Sylt is a large, and very prominent island lying off the northern coast of Germany, and is part of Nordfriesland district of Schleswig-Holstein.  It is well known for the distinctive shape of its shoreline and is the largest of the North Frisian Islands.  It is notable in history -- largely, and perhaps only -- because its' location made it attractive to Germany's enemies.  In the 19th Century, Sylt's strategic location and easily defensible shores made it a prime target for an attacker seeking to establish an advanced base in the North Sea.  It was an ideal location for a naval outpost for blockade purposes, or as a base of operations for an amphibious invasion of the mainland.  However, the beginning of the 20th Century saw this value somewhat diminished, as the advance of weapons technology made it vulnerable to heavy artillery based on the mainland, as well as to attack from the air.  But these modern weapons of war did not deter the British Admiralty from proposing several plans to seize the island during The Great War.


I should mention that Sylt, as the farthest north of the German Frisian Islands, would really not have figured into the Jade Bight Region.  But -- with such a unique shape, I could not bring myself to leave it out of the region, and instead, placed it on the far west map edge.

Sylt has actually only been an island from 1632 to 1927.  In January of 1632, a massive southwesterly Atlantic gale surged into the North Sea and inundated vast stretches of the British Isles, Holland, Germany, and Denmark  The Grote Mandrenke (Middle Dutch for "Great Drowning of Men") -- or -- Saint Marcellus' flood (Feast Day) -- was responsible for an estimated minimum of 25,000 dead.  The storm tide quickly swept far inland, catching the populace unawares, breaking up islands, making parts of the mainland into islands, and wiping out entire towns and districts.  This was characteristic of the weather at the beginning of "The Little Ice Age" and repeated flooding and storm surges from the 13th Century onward not only helped to create the Great Zuiderzee, but destroyed the narrow land link between Sylt and the mainland.



This view is for those of you that mentioned that the Island of Juist (the previous installment) looked more like a peninsula than an island.  You see here, the north tip of Juist, where the road and rail connections are carried across on bridges.  Juist was, after all, a "service city" and provides power and trash removal services for Sylt.  That required a land link -- or at least a bridge -- linking the two islands.  A ferry would have been more realistic, but would not have satisfied the service requirements.  I threw in a picture of a southbound freight on the trestle bridge -- you know how guys are about their train sets! (lol)


This is the southern headland of Sylt, sometimes referred to as Hornum.  Due to storms and tidal action, the island is somewhat unstable and this area in particular suffers from beach erosion.  Attempts have been made over the years to build seawalls and jettys to retard the erosion, but sustainable effects have yet to be attained.  In times past, the area was inhabited largely by fishermen, but they moved to the north shore when their coves either silted up or were washed away.  Before the fishermen, the headland was notorious as a haven for coastal pirates and smugglers.  Rather fitting that it should now be inhabited largely by the wealthy -- kind of like keeping it in the family -- you know?


This is a high-rent neighborhood on the east side (or South Bay area) of the headland.  Very up-scale residences with parks and a seawall promenade.  The obelisk was erected around 1895 by the Emperor and is dedicated to the famous pirate "Yellowbeard".  The Emperor was making yet another attempt to rouse patriotic fervor for the new navy he was spending so many Marks to build.  It was said that Yellowbeard successfully defended the island against an English Invasion in the 18th Century.  It was as good a reason as any to build another dreadnought battleship -- right?  The truth of it is that the Royal Navy came ashore to burn out the pirate haven.  Rather than lose his ships, Yellowbeard fled into hiding among the mainland marshes, and returned only when the English sails were out of sight over the horizon.  But the obelisk makes for a more impressive version. (lol)
NOTE:  This is one of those high-end real estate developments several people recommended.  Tariely made it clear that I was allowing nature to have all the good property instead of selling it to the very rich.  


This is a small public jetty in the South Bay.  It's convenient for the main settlement and sheltered from the storms.  I know many of you don't use the Maxis Marina -- but I think I got the height just right on this one.  I like to use them for the automata.  The small boats sailing about are a pleasant distraction -- much like the whales.


This is the Flagsted Light -- one of those Nexis lighthouses I re-lotted off a "Franku" lot.  If you have even a few coastal cities, you find the lighthouses becoming repetitive very quickly, and the Nexis props are very good.  I have to thank "Blunder" for agreeing to post his seawalls to STEX.  It was very kind of him to do so, and I'm sure many people have been very happy to get them.  I like them very much and was desperate to use them, so I did a small combination with my lighthouse as a first effort.  Doubtless they would have looked better in a larger display, but a bit of rock filling and some trees, and they turned out pretty good.


This is another one of those high-dollar residential spots, completed with a seashore park and a small monument to Herr August Gottzenrokks.  He's the rich developer that bought the barren south end area and turned it into a fancy bit of real estate.


This is some more of Herr Gottzenrokks' work.  He built the fancy seawalls, beautified it, and rents it out to very up-scale business.  Lots of money in his bank account!  I REALLY like "Blunder's" seawalls.


This is a bit of industry that moved in along a stretch of the west shore of the island.  The north end of the island (Konigshafen Point), was acquired by the government around 1800 for a lighthouse and lifeboat station.  And, as is the way with governments, they took a big chunk of dirt and fenced it off.  Neither the residents nor the businessmen wanted to get too close to these installations (they usually make nice targets for enemy battleships), so that just left the greedy industrialists to occupy the intervening land.
I threw in another picture showing the detail of the filler lots in the industrial zone.  I try to make sure almost every factory gets some sort of "detail work" with the filler lots.  In future industrial settings, I plan to start building specific industry rather than allowing Maxis to grow the bulk of it.  This will allow for better planning and even more detailing.


I should have taken a somewhat larger shot of this area to show the causeway aspect, but it slipped past me -- so I will explain.  
During the winter months, thick ice in the Sound often prevented ferries from running for weeks at a time.  And by 1925, Sylt had become so prosperous it was decided a permanent link to the mainland was required.  A bridge arrangement was discussed, but a causeway was determined to be less of a risk.  By 1927, a fine earth and stone causeway was completed with a double-track railway line to connect Sylt to the mainland.  Thus ended Sylt's days as an actual island.
For game purposes, I decided to make a break in the causeway and build bridges to make the final connection.  I thought it was a fine opportunity to try my hand at making a shallow channel beneath a low bridge structure rather than one of those tall bridges with ugly approaches.  I also included a road connection -- what the heck!  You've got a nice shot with some road traffic and the 7:10 commuter train to Norden crossing the bridge.


Due to the odd shape of the island, it was necessary to place a police station out here somewhere.  The causeway was narrow and already crowded, so I opted for the Police Boat on the south side in Waddensee Sound.  Not bad.


Again, with the causeway being a bit crowded, I decided to put the treatment plant and pumping station on the south side.  Notice another rendering of a salt marsh over on the left side, and the "Tahoe Water" ponds around the pumping station.  This was only my second attempt at using the Tahoe water -- but it turned out OK.  I think Tahoe will look better on a larger scale.  I have, more or less, given up on the "Diggis Ponds".  The banks are too resistant to MMP landscaping attempts.


This is an overview of the north shore of the causeway where I placed the fishing docks and cannery.  It's a prominent location for what would have been the base industry of the town, but is away from the residential while being well connected with rail and road links.


The fishing fleet is made up of PEG's Capt. Jack's Landing -- very professional looking operation.  There are a couple of filler piers and lots between them.  Behind them we have the PEG CDK3 Basic piers used as loading platforms.  And then a rail siding to ship all those fish around the region.  A nice, compact, little arrangement.


Any fish that doesn't leave Capt. Jack's as a "fresh" delivery, gets sent next door to this cannery.  Here they are processed and sent out by rail to distant markets, or by truck to local markets, or even by scow to those really hard to reach markets.  Anything not worth putting in a can gets ground into fertilizer -- "Waste not, want not".  
You have a similar, basic arrangement, with the cannery, a rail siding, and loading platforms -- detailed with filler lots and parking.  The cannery is the old "B & T Crawfish Cannery" with a simple re-lot.  I added a seawall pier to allow for dock side loading, and beefed it up a bit with some more props to make it look more functional.


Also on the north shore, we find a small freight dock with a "RoRo" carrier unloading a few containers before casting off to continue her weary passage from port to port.  The extension on the left is a re-lotted PEG warehouse, while the extension on the ride side is composed of T-Wrecks, NBVC, or custom filler lots.  Directly behind the docks is a cargo handling pad with some parking and mostly made up from custom filler lots.  The rail siding is customized using NBVC tracks and PEG cars and locomotives, with Maxis "steam" effect.  I would have gone for a slightly more elaborate layout, but it is only an island and somewhat limited in space.


Here's another one of those residential enclaves occupying prime seashore property on the South Bay.  Nothing too fancy -- just some water frontage with a small walking park along the shore.


Down at the foot of town, fronting on the Waddensee Sound, we have Somy's magnificent cruise ship terminal.  The "SS Dina Caliente" has only recently disembarked her passengers and is being cleaned and re-victualed for her upcoming Baltic Sea cruise.  At the base of the terminal, I used the wing piers from the PEG cruise ship terminal to fill out infrastructure a bit.  I find the Somy terminal much more attractive than either the Maxis or PEG terminals -- especially if your not really interested in the ship automata.  As always -- Somy's work is spectacular!


Far out to sea, we find the cruise ship "SS Nina Caliente" -- recently departed -- steering south through the Waddensee Sound.  Once into the North Sea, she will transit the English Channel, then commence a series of stops along the French and Portuguese coasts as she heads for the Canary Islands and a luxurious week of sun and sand.  Once again, Somy's ships are nothing short of a work of art.


Here we see a few small boats and yachts anchored offshore of one of the better neighborhoods.  It may be that they were simply looking for a scenic place to throw out the anchor, but the evidence says otherwise.  There is, after all, a small jetty with two speedboats moored nearby (or -- as close as I could get them to the jetty).  And if you look closely, you'll see one of the yachts has deployed a "zodiac dingy".  My guess is that the owner of one, or maybe more, of these yachts is a house guest at one of the big homes.
I believe that settles the recurring question of how people aboard all these anchored yachts get ashore.


This was supposed to be "my big, fat, high-rent real estate with a shore side park" thingie.  It's got low density zoning, several big homes, a very nice park arrangement that links up with the cruise ship terminal.  On the left you see the statue of Bismarck I'd been wanting (it turned up in the LEX Advent Calendar -- THANK YOU!).  It's got a pier for the yachts offshore to use.  And it's even got parking!!  All those things everybody wanted.  But -- for some reason -- I couldn't get it to grow all of the rich folks' homes I wanted.  So -- "my, big, fat, thingie" is only a partial success.


This is an overview of the main settlement on the island, often referred to as the Arksum area.  I'm afraid it's nothing spectacular.  There was really too little room to get creative, and there was a lot of stuff to be squeezed in.  But it's a nice, orderly little town.



This is the northern arm of the island, which the Government pretty much took for themselves.  The tidal action and frequent storm surges in the area have been responsible for a gradual but continuous loss of shoreline along the southern arm, while at the same time, it is adding shoreline slowly but surely along the northern arm.  This explains the "beak-shaped" point forming on the lee side of the headland.



This was an attempt to make something like a coastal swamp.  The land has been building up over the years, some trees have moved in -- but every storm tide that washes ashore fills the low spots with water and leaves a boggy morass.  It's not bad -- but I'm not really sure I succeeded.  I think it looks a bit too crowded.  Your thoughts?  


This is an overview showing a bit more detail of the Coast Guard Complex and the Frohnau Transmission Tower.  This is one of the tallest towers in Europe and certainly the tallest one on the North Sea Coast.  The tower's construction back in the 1960's stirred up a good deal of curiosity and caused more than its' share of loose talk.  Within days of turning over the first shovel of dirt on the tower project, another mass of contractors and workers arrived to begin work on the Coast Guard Station.  There had never been any government construction this extensive on the island.  However, the government pretty much keeps to itself -- they don't bother anyone -- and the money they bring to the community is very much appreciated.  Why, Capt. Jack sells tons of fish to the base every month -- but the Coast Guard comes to pick it up by truck.  They won't even allow one of their own "contractors" on the base.


Then there was that night when a special freight train rolled through town in the wee hours of the morning headed for the base.  A couple of men going home from the late shift at Schwartz Chemicals saw the train and the loaded flat cars covered in heavy canvas tarps.  One of them, an ex-soldier -- said it looked like battle tanks to him.  Then he squinted his eyes, deep in thought.  "Why is that damned tower so important they gotta bring tanks up here to guard it?"  He shrugged and kept walking toward his car.  "Mind you -- that tower's talkin' to something way far out there -- or real deep.  I bet it's them Nuke boats based over in The Bight!"  
Beyond that bit of occasional speculation, nobody knows who that tower talks to -- or who answers back!


The Coast Guard docks and administrative building were built on the same ground once occupied by the tiny harbor of Konigshafen (hence the name for the headland).  The old harbor was, for all intents and purposes, silted up by the outbreak of the First Word War.  It was necessary to bring in dredges and pile drivers for the heavy work, but the old harbor was widened and deepened until it could accommodate the new Coast Guard Cutters.  

Engineers and work gangs were brought in to lay a spur track line the length of the headland.  This would, in effect, extend the railway from the industrial freight station right to the Coast Guard docks, enabling them to bring up heavy machinery or bulky machine parts to the base.

 And finally, fuel tanks, warehouses, and machine shops capable of the heaviest sort of work were built to support both the needs of the base and the cutters.


Konigshafen Light occupies the tip of the headland, and was built on the foundations of previous structures -- the first one in 1823.  


The Lifeboat station and observation platform were added about 40 years later, with the occasional warehouse built as needs expanded.  


The pier for the lighthouse was added near the turn of the last Century and is still in use today.


Just so you will know:  The lighthouse is another Nexis re-lot.  The lighthouse pier is by "Uki".  The warehouses -- both red & black roofed -- and the observation platform are re-lotted from "Nob" props.  And that's the "CAL Aberdyfi Lifeboat".


And, if you turn your "glass" north by northeast, you will spy -- far out to sea -- the Somy Lines Tanker "SS Lilith Pleasant".  She is, like most vessels these days, registered and home-ported out of Panama.  And the steady thump of her engines push her massive bow into the rolling swells as she makes her way toward The Bight.  Once there she will, no doubt, make for Bremerhaven and the vast refinery overlooking the bay.  

Last -- but not least -- the obligatory night shots:







The Island Of Sylt was the last of what I call the old cities.  Sylt was fairly well advanced before I ever started getting any feedback, so I did what I could to work in the new ideas and suggestions without having to scrap the whole thing and start from scratch.  All of these entries, up to this point, were largely experiments in scope and scale as well as technique and tools.  I have been able to make good use of the feedback you have given me, and to utilize your advice to improve my "aesthetic game".  I do believe there could have been more feedback, but the long and short of it is that you make do with what you have.

I have provided three pictures of the REGION to give you an idea where we started -- and where we have come to so far.  For those of you that have been paying attention, it won't be too hard to pick out the various cities, and even their details.  You may note in the last two pictures the random chaos in Wilhelmshaven and the other two cities near the bottom of the region.  Simply disregard them -- they are my test cities.  I use them to test everything from downloads and custom lots to landscaping techniques.




One thing is certain -- my style will have to change.  
I build mostly self-contained cities and towns.  This is nice enough and has the advantage that all your assets are pretty much on the map in front of you.  But it also means that no matter what size map you are working on, you end up dividing it (much like Caesar's Gaul ) into three parts -- RES, COM, and IND.  Of course, it is much more complicated than that;  where to put the seaport -- the airport -- the Eiffel Tower?  Wait -- where is this railroad going? -- etc, etc.  But basically you have to parcel out your map in those three categories.  And if you get a bit too much industry, then there won't be enough map left to provide offices and shops -- or maybe, too little residential !!

And what about your "pet" dreams?  Where do you find space on the map for that hugely fancy and complicated waterfront scene backed by a thriving commercial zone?  Or that oil refinery that would put the real Shell Oil to shame?  Or a seaport bigger and better than Rotterdam?

The simple answer is that you cannot do any of that on a self-contained map divided into 3 types of zones.  There is simply not enough room and no way to balance the scale element.

I have decided the best possible thing to do at this point is to switch to a "regional" style of play.  No more self-contained cities.  
In future, each city will be designated as either RES, COM, or IND.  And that designation will be the overwhelming focus of the city.  If a given city is chosen to be IND -- then neighboring cities will provide the space for the RES and COM.  Workers will commute from a city that is largely residential.  Other workers will commute to yet a third city where the dominant theme will be COM.  In the RES and COM cities, this should allow more than enough room to provide parks and proper space for landscape architecture.  

From what I can tell, this is what the Maxis designers had intended all along.  And though it seems a bit odd to be trying to wrap my head around it -- it seems the only way to get enough room to enable the creativity.

If anyone has any advice or tips on this "regional style" thingie -- please feel free to impart your wisdom.

Well, my friends -- that just about wraps up the sideshow for tonight!!

Even A Little Farm Takes Time    




Jade Bight 10:  The Island of Juist

Welcome, yet again, to a new installment of The Jade Bight.  I'm happy to see the installments continue to entertain our early visitors while drawing new faces to the table.  Our little region is quite hospitable and offers welcome to all, from near lands or far.

I should mention --
Juist is one of the maps that had been finished PRIOR to receiving any feedback from visiting members.  It is a small map, and therefore, is dedicated to either "service facilities" or simply "eye-candy".  Since there was actually very little room to work with, I decided against making any serious changes before publication.



Juist is a rather small island in the East Frisian chain and one of only seven that is actually inhabited.  As you can see, the land mass is not at all large, and may be even smaller when exceptionally high tides roll in.  The curious shape is a result of wave and tidal action upon the easily shifted sands, with the exception of the neck of land along the northern shore.  Some time around the 1770's, this narrow strip was breached by a massive storm tide that is, to this day, referred to as St. Peter's Storm.  Over the years, the neck was repaired and reinforced against the fury of the sea and now forms an integral part of the tiny island.  The very northern most portion of the island carries the only road and rail connections with it's neighbor island of Sylt.

NORD POWER, LLC -- Juist Division


Some 40 years ago, Nord Power LLC started buying up large parcels of land, mostly abandoned or in disuse, and then began the process of demolishing the old factory yards and cannery piers.  The days of a thriving fishing industry were long gone and most of the industry (the little there was) had proven unprofitable in the face of modern technologies.  Nord Power constructed a large nuclear power plant on the property and swept away the ruins of old Juist's glory days.  The only thing to survive the dynamite and bulldozers was the pier that now serves the complex.  The power plant has proved to be a boon to the locals.  The complex provides a steady source of jobs and local power at a cheap price, while charging neighboring Sylt a more than profitable fee for supplying their power.  Without the power station's employment, the little island would be reduced to few dollars brought in by the occasional tourist.


Adjacent to the power station on the east side of the island is the Wadden Salt Marsh.  The marsh has survived the tempests of the sea mainly due to its' location on the lee side of the island, thus escaping the erosion that moves the other beaches as much as five feet a year.  The brackish mix of salt water and soggy land provides a sanctuary for migrating birds as well as a nesting place along its' shore for Gray Plovers.  Boaters take advantage of the smooth water as a safe anchorage -- as long as they don't get too close inshore.


As mentioned earlier, the north tip of the island carries connections to the larger neighboring Island of Sylt.  Part of Juist's currently thriving economy is largely due to the trash removal contracts they have with Sylt.  


At one time, most of what you see here was covered by factories -- a forest of chimneys and smokestacks (admittedly, a small forest).  But that was long ago.  Most of them have been pulled down, broken up, or sold off.  The few, die-hard, industries remaining have had to make room for more cost-effective high-tech corporations.  


This marina looks somewhat out of place in such small and cramped spaces, but it provides a safe anchorage as well as fuel, and gives comfort to the seafaring types with easy access to the small shops and gasthauses in the town.  But it is far more important to the very existence of the island.  The foundation stones of the marina seawall are huge granite slaps laid there in the 18th Century to repair the storm damage and reunite the two halves of the island.


The docks were once much larger, and certainly a deal more busy than they are now.  But they remain necessary to bring in large pieces of machinery and equipment required by the power plant.




Wilhelmshoe Light was built on the only high ground on the island, Wilhelmshoe Point, rising some 50 meters above sea level.  Built prior to The Great War, it is an imposing structure that can be seen from any spot on the island and for many miles out to sea.  By contrast, the passenger station below the headland is sparse and utilitarian in nature.  It is, after all, "the end of the line".


Juist is not only the name of the island, but also the name of the tiny, somewhat isolated, municipality.  It is as modern as can be expected, with a small range of shops, offices, and even a well-stocked library.  And though it is small -- everyone knows everyone else on a first-name-basis -- it has several excellent gasthauses where a pint or two can be had as well as a fine Jagerschnitzel !!  Even this remote place has its' comforts.



As is common to the region, there are many coves and small inlets that provide a secluded mooring for the mariner who dares "to go down to the sea in ships".  (Even though they be luxury yachts!).  Some of the inlets are a bit small, but snug on the lee side of the land and safe from all but the larger storms of winter.  Careful maneuvering with an auxillary engine will see you through.



The pier at the end of Channel Point serves mostly the islanders while the lighthouse was built as a guide beacon to mark the entrance to the narrow harbor.



Here are two views that show a bit more detail while giving you an idea of how everything is tied together.

NIGHT SHOTS: Five views
Not much to show on such a small island -- but I know you guys like them.






Once again we find our tour has come to an end.  I do hope you enjoyed it !!  And I do hope you will favor me with comments and suggestions.  I do rely on your feedback to help me improve my city-building skills

Our next journey will incorporate some improvements in technique as well as a few new items recently acquired. 

Look in on us -- I think you'll enjoy it!

Next time:




The Jade Bight 9
Norden: Downtown To The "Burbs"

In this installment of The Jade Bight we return to the thriving port city of Norden to pick up our exposition where we left off.  This time we will examine, in some detail, the downtown financial and business sectors as well as the residential areas of the city.  If I might remind the visitors to the site, I decided to make a two-part presentation because of improvements made largely upon feedback in the comments sections and messages I have received.  I would like to thank everyone who offered advice and opinions, and I have included a goodly number of pictures to highlight the improvements.

NORDEN: Two Views


From the views above, you will see that the commercial districts have largely been concentrated on the northern headland, with the residential stretching to the south and southeast.  All areas have adequate access to rail and highway links, with industry, commercial, and residential each occupying roughly 1/3 of the map.  I should mention that Tariely's sound criticism has pointed out my gross misuse of the high-dollar real estate available along the extensive shoreline.  She is quite correct.  This is my second version of the downtown area -- having bulldozed it a few days ago to make all the changes you will see.  But, in my "reformer's zeal", I did not look beyond my nose!  I did not even consider the shoreline as the asset it truly is.  Even the monuments on the headland could have been arranged differently to take advantage of the view.  In future, I will ensure all that expensive beachfront property is better utilized with high-rent residential, expensive condos, and luxury office buildings.  I wonder if I could hire Tariely as my City Manager?


Most of what I call the high-rise office buildings are concentrated in the heart of the financial district, with government buildings, education, and the hospital spread around the periphery.  The tallest building visible is about as high as I wish to go on medium size maps.  On a large map it will be possible to build taller buildings because there will be more room to create open spaces around them.  "Pencil towers" commit the cardinal sin of blotting out the surface detail you go to so much trouble to include -- and will not be found in The Jade Bight.  Nice office block towers, strategically placed and artfully landscaped, will contribute detail to the city rather than subtract it.


Keeping in mind that the city was already grown up when I started receiving constructive comments and advice, I did not tamper too much with the peripheral edges where the civic structures were located.  I did, however, bulldoze the heart of the district and come up with a new plan.  The Telus and Tallin buildings form the focal point.  I tried to arrange them along a central access and then enclosed them with a curved "ring road".  This allowed room for plaza areas as well as parking (a new innovation) and green tree space.  This gives it a nice open and "airy" feeling and compliments the shore side monument plaza very well.  (At least I think so. lol - lol)


This is a lovely little building.  The trees behind it are Girafe Birches, used to cover the diagonals along the ring-road.  Parking has been provided on the right side of the building and the front corner has been filled in with a "natural" look.  The MMP trees there are absolutely beautiful.  Apparently, my Educational Adviser has arranged some sort of training program for prospective Civil Servants without telling me.  All those school buses are pulling into matt325b's Bureau of Bureaucracy.


Not too much out of the ordinary here.  Note the parking for the courthouse and city hall.  Based on some feedback, I have whipped up a couple of custom filler lots to provide small groups of people wandering around the grounds.  If You look close -- you'll even see some pigeons.  What's a monument without pigeons -- right?



Here you have the Art Museum and the Opera House with some gardens and park lands attached.


They tell me there's a guy in there named Scrooge -- and he's rally making a killing!!  Or -- was that Marley?


This is the main passenger station with a parking deck and a nice little landscaped park.  I'm still experimenting with integrating passenger rail into my cities.  I've hardly ever used it before Jade Bight, and it's taking a few attempts to get the proper placement within a city.  I'm also having trouble locating a suitable main station.  I don't want the big stations in medium size cities, so I'm slowly searching out the smaller stations -- though a couple look pretty good.  This one was well placed and immediately reduced the highway traffic dramatically.


Another custom lot with parking and a natural landscape border.


This is the west side district, with the Community College next to the Police station (keeps the little beggars in line!).  Then you have the Main Library with the Cerulean Park attached, and the hospital.


Here you have (left to right) the Government Social Development Building, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and the Lever House.  I am especially partial to the Mandarin Oriental -- beautiful piece of work


This is a particularly nice building.  Note the "natural" landscape on this end, the other end has a nice park strip along the road.  These details are all part of the new effort to detail and beautify the lots -- rather than plunking them down on bare corners, etc.


Keeping in mind "kschmidt's" comment that the Maxis pier was too flimsy for open water -- I plopped something a bit more substantial.  One of the students attending the community college is from out of town and that's his commuter yacht.  (Veddy, veddy rich, you know. lol)


Ahh, yes!  We have stumbled across the watering hole of the rich and influential.  The resort Hotel is perched on the West Bay shore between the edge of town and the beginnings of the Hindenburgdamm.  This is the mainland end of an artificial causeway to the Island of Sylt and was constructed over a 4 year period, finishing up in 1927.  The original "damm" only carried a single track rail line, but we have widened the causeway to allow for a double track and road as well.



Great??  Yeah -- I know.  But nobody knows why it was named that way.  The name has, apparently, drifted down to us from the swirling, purple haze of Antiquity.  The boaters anchored on the edge of the marsh must be brave souls.  The seasoned "old salts" hanging about the marina tell haunted tales of blood curdling screams and snarls that can be heard when the wind is right and the moon is full.  Truth is, one "old timer" -- after a couple tots of rum -- winked and told me it was just an enraged Angora Rabbit that got lost out in the marsh many moons ago.  Just remember -- "Don't go near the yellow snow" -- AND STAY OUT OF THE MARSH !!


Who knows what this is all about?  Might be some fine French Brandy coming ashore -- duty free!  Or, perhaps, some aged Scotch whiskey!


My first use of Tahoe plop water.  It didn't work out very well.  Parking didn't work at all -- area really too small -- trouble with the diagonal edges.  I'm going to have to spend some time looking for and working with some sort of diagonal fillers.  I never needed them when I was working with a square grid -- now they're coming back to bite me!


This my favorite library!!  Debusseyman did such wonderful work.


Here we have the Potsdammer Platz in the roundabout, the Farmer's Market with the Brown Tower in a park setting, and the Paris Obelisk -- all filling in odd-shaped bits of turf.


Here we have a small block of commercial buildings with the Samurai Statue roundabout and a small adjoining park.  Makes a nice grouping.


Here's another view.  Notice how you have a walk-through between the buildings, which leads to parking in the back and more shops.  The park is very nice -- light, "airy" and open -- lots of green trees for sun or shade.  This is a good example of your feedback at work!  This kind of thing will go a long way toward dressing up the surrounding lots and adding detail to the commercial areas.  Less of the "faceless" Maxis -- more of the "cozy".


Nice old park in a reasonably affluent neighborhood.  It was built to honor the three emperors of Germany.


This is what the older West Side neighborhood looks like.  "Heartless" had convinced me to get on with roundabouts so this neighborhood has one.  He also kept on at me about using curves and getting away from "the grid".  So -- when I went to build on the east side of the highway -- I put in curves.  I tried to lay it out so as to utilize as much population space as possible without losing too much to road curves.  I also tried to maintain the wooded look to the area.  I think it achieved a suitably "jumbled" look to the buildings and broke up the grid pretty well.  





OBLIGATORY NIGHT SHOTS:  Got some good stuff here!











That concludes our extended tour of the city of Norden.  I do hope you have enjoyed it.

Your comments and feedback have been a great help to me, and I hope you will continue to give me the constructive comments that will enable me to improve my game.

I would like to extend a special and public THANK YOU !!! -- to Tariely for her continuous encouragement, help, and support.  I am fortunate to have such an understanding muse.

The people of The Jade Bight will be taking some time off for the holidays -- they're all well-paid so they can afford to make merry. (Including a Mr. Robert D. Cratchet & Son -- who own the property beneath the Telus and Tallin Center.  (We call his son -- well -- uh -- er-- "Tiny Tim" -- for short!)  They recently bought-out a coal freighting operation down by the docks -- something to do with a family history of keeping warm -- go figure!

While RD & TT are making merry -- so will I be.  Some good company, good food, and good wine -- for t'is The Season.



Next time:
The Island Of Juist




The Jade Bight 8
Norden:  Port & Industry

Welcome to The Jade Bight!  
In this installment you will see about half of the city of Norden.  That's right -- only half.  I have chosen to split this presentation into two entries for a variety of reasons.  Large entries are always somewhat tedious due to the number of pictures to post and the text.  And sometimes, the text can take a good deal of time.  The main reason for splitting up the material is that this is the first city in which I have been able to incorporate some of your suggestions, as well as to correct a few errors you have kindly pointed out.  No doubt, there will be more errors this time around, but that is alright.  I have also used this map to integrate additional game systems, or to use them more effectively.  Consequently, there are many more pictures included to highlight detail work.



Norden is a thriving port city of some 70k inhabitants.  And, they are an industrious lot, indeed, with slightly more than half of them gainfully employed.  Their health is excellent, mainly due to the lack of traffic congestion and the relatively low taxes they pay.  "Gramps" will likely live to the ripe old age of 85 -- giving him enough time to enjoy that average income of 65k (not bad money for an old geezer that should be retired).  The education level of the townsfolk hovers around 150 -- which is quite good, considering the sustained growth rate of the community.


This view shows the seaport docks and the surrounding industrial area.  You notice immediately a large bulk hauler putting to sea, while two more are moored alongside the loading docks.  To the left, you see a small rail yard siding and a bulk cargo seaport handling roughly 270 tons of freight.  The right end of the pier is occupied by two coaling docks belonging to Norddeutscher Coal & Coke, a subsidiary of the Norddeutscher Shipping Line.  Norddeutscher is the largest shipping line based in the Jade Bight and handles virtually all imports and exports of coal in the nation.  Norddeutscher has many subsidiary businesses you will find scattered around The Bight.   

PORT:  Two views


You will note the rail and road connections along the lower edge.  At the seaport end, the connections come in from Esens.  At the lower end of the industrial area, you can see the tracks and highway leading to Schillig Roads.  This was my first attempt at actually integrating the rail and highway systems between cities.  It did not come off as well as I would have liked, but more of that later.


Once again, we have a picture of some fine bat & lot work.  This is a "Somy" Steamship Lines' vessel -- the SS Mortimer Goth.  She's home-ported out of Panama and bound for Lisbon.  I have yet to see a Somy ship that disappoints!


Here we have a closer view of the harbor area showing the general arrangement.



Two views of the bulk cargo seaport; one showing the layout of the rail yard sidings and handling facilities -- the other showing the use of the NBVC Modular Container Port pieces and a variety of custom filler lots all mixed in with the seaport.  Very flexible and matches up nicely.





This is the principle port used by Norddeutscher for all its maritime coal imports and exports, hence the "double" layout of the piers and rail yards.  I did not create a large holding area for mountains of coal near the dockside, since Norddeutscher has a large and rather extensive storage facility farther inland, midway between the mines and the port.  They have a veritable network of storage facilities covering the area designed for rail and road distribution.
I have used a variety of PEG, NBVC, and Fukuda material (not to mention others) to piece together the system shown here.






First, let me say I'm sure some aspects of this project could have been handled better by a more skilled member.  I am, alas, bereft of the skill necessary to traffic enable a lot -- so I must borrow them and try to rig something up.  And some of the equipment and structures my research turned up simply were not available in "the prop locker" -- so I'm certain a "batter" could have done justice far beyond my meager skills.  Therefor, I do apologize for my shortcomings.
But, for some reason, everyone making "bats" and "lots" seems to have ignored coal in general.  It's a massive industry -- supplying large portions of our energy needs -- with complicated networks and plant facilities just begging to be modeled.  So this has become an on-going project for me.
One thing -- I WOULD like some advice on the rail yard.  I can't seem to figure out how to apply a texture to "grunge"-up the looks of the thing.  I already have a rail Mod doing something(??).  BUT -- should I remove the trees and flora from the rail yard?  And would it seem out of place to change it to a concrete or dirt base?  Keep in mind that the rails beyond the actual lot will not change color -- so there will be a stark contrast at the edges of the lot.

The original idea was to take the old "Jamison Coal Docks" and simply do a "face lift" on them and plop a few more props.  I had to discard that notion when I discovered that nearly the whole thing had been "baked" together.  Seeing no way to add or subtract from the original lot -- I had to start from scratch and build a whole new coal dock.  The only thing to survive from Fukuda was the Bistagne Bulker and a coal truck prop (possibly the coal piles -- not sure).  The dock itself is put together with mostly PEG and NBVC props.  The cranes are Bipin props.  The rail yard is a conversion of NBVC's Tank Car Filling lot.  And the loading docks plopped on the other side of the tracks are, of course, PEG CDK3 Basics.  The "blanks" were filled in with various lots and custom fillers.  Like Fukuda, I made one dock with the SS Bistagne attached, and made another dock "empty".  In this case, Somy's "Bella Goth" is loading there.


The more I looked at the rail yard serving the coal docks, the less I liked the idea of all that flora and fauna.  I did a quick re-lot and came up with something I think will be more suitable.  The concrete look is much more appropriate for a coal yard terminal.










This shot gives you a closer look at the industrial zone.


I found this (I think) on STEX and downloaded it, figuring it would look pretty good in the factory setting to replace the Maxis freight depot (bland).  But the query function doesn't work properly -- and though it is traffic enabled for rails -- it may not be enabled for "through traffic".  So -- it may not function as a freight depot (cargo capacity) -- and might even interrupt the rail line (forcing the trains to choose another track).  Can anyone tell me if that is the case??


Just a close shot showing some detail work with T-Wrecks, BSC, and custom filler lots.  Very useful stuff.


This turned out quite well.  The paper plant grew up -- then a small burner unit moved in beside it -- and it looked like it belonged there, so I kept it.  The shape of the lot lent itself very well to detailing with various filler lots.  Looks very much like a lot of old factory yards I've seen.  It would have been even better if there had been enough room to use some diagonal fillers, but the rail line wound up having to go through there because of the inner city freight lot.



Yet another configuration of the two Fukuda lots.  These two buildings are very flexible -- makes them easy to work with.  I recently ran across these buildings in a PEG "SPAM" factory upload.  Apparently they re-purposed them for use in their agricultural Mod.  That's most likely where I got the idea they were PEG material.

Easy to use custom fillers to "flesh out" the loading bays.


Being unsure of the functional value of the Inner City Freight Depot, I decided to throw together a Maxis freight depot and dress it up with CDK3 piers and filler lots.  Not bad -- but I'd like to find a functional alternative to Maxis freight.  ANY SUGGESTIONS ??


A shot of a short commuter train -- the "4:10 Special" -- rolling past the Deadwood Plant on its' way to Schillig Roads.  This was my first attempt at using passenger rail.  For the most part, I ignored rail in general.  Hardly -- or never -- used it.  So figuring out where to place it to be effective was a real problem -- and I'm not so sure I nailed it.  I'm still learning about the commuter habits of Sims and finding them to be an odd lot.  I've heard about the "Eternal Commuter" -- but can't really tell if that's happening or not.  Haven't learned enough yet.  My strategy is to have one passenger depot near the residential on a spur line.  I place a second passenger depot near the industry on the main line between cities.  This should (I hope) ensure that commuters will get off at the factories -- provided there are enough jobs for them.  I'm experimenting with this sort of stuff in an effort to work out the bugs before embarking on a new direction for this region.


A shot of a freight train picking its' way through the seaport siding to the pier.  Another freight runs regulary to Schillig Roads -- so it would appear I've figured out how to manage the freight traffic.  One of my goals for this city was to properly integrate the rail systems so they would actually work.


Nice shot of the Thermo Fisher HT building.  Note the parking on the backside of the building and the parks laid out at each end.  I went back and retro-fitted some parking as several of you pointed out the lack thereof.  I put a small airfield in front of the building.  I wasn't really in favor of the idea, because the Maxis airports are "very vanilla".  But a city of 70k needs an airport to boost the business.  Can anyone recommend a nice alternative to "Maxis Air"??  Something small, attractive, and possibly modular (for flexible variety)???


Once again, I dumped KSIM out in the woods south of the airfield, and did my "custom" job on the water pumping station.

NIGHT SHOTS:  Seven views
For you "Night Owls" out there -- here are some shots from "The Dark Side" (Star Wars pun intended -- lol-lol-lol).









That concludes our tour of Norden -- for the time being.  In the next installment, we will turn our attention to the residential and commercial sectors of the city.  Much of the member's recent advice has been taken to heart.  I brought in the bulldozers and leveled the downtown -- and went out in the suburbs to plan some new housing.  In addition, I took out my detailing cursor and tried my hand at some new stuff.  We'll see what you think of it next visit.

AS ALWAYS -- I solicit and welcome your comments, criticism, and suggestions.  Give me something to work with -- and I'll do the best I can with it.

Next time:
Jade Bight 9:
Norden: From Downtown To The "Burbs"


Jade Bight 7: Esens


The Jade Bight 7

Welcome back for a new installment of our journey through The Jade Bight!!  
I do apologize for my brief absence from the CJ -- at least to those of you that enjoy looking in.  I'm afraid "real-welt" matters have been taking up more of my time of late.  There is, of course, the preparation for the coming Holiday -- a fun thing!  But there is also the ever-present need to do mundane things like renewing my driving license and the distasteful task of paying my property taxes like a good little boy.  To paraphrase Sean Connery in "Hunt For Red October" -- "I think a little revolution from time to time is a good thing -- don't you?"  I usually start thinking about overthrowing the government when tax-time rolls around.  Oh well -- the check is in the mail, so I guess the government is safe uuntil next year. (lol)  (BTW -- If anyone from the Department Of Homeland Security is watching -- THAT WAS A JOKE !!  A JOKE !!)

Another reason for my absence is the need to sift through the comments and feedback from the last few city entries.  Let me thank all of you that make comments and I encourage you to continue to do so.  And the more detailed and explanatory, the better!!  Some of the city entries may begin to look repetetive, but I assure you they will be different in some way or other.  I try to showcase as much new custom content as possible -- either downloads from STEX or LEX, or material I have re-lotted or re-purposed in the game.  And I try to experiment with a new technique, or to perfect an experimental technique with each new map.  Part of the purpose of this CJ is to learn how to integrate concepts that are new to me -- such as terrain and water Mods -- or to integrate old concepts (rail, for example) that I have not used before.  I am also open to new ideas on how to "tie my city together" -- neighborhoods, business districts, etc.  Consequently, much of my time off was spent bulldozing my next unpublished city (Norden) to incorporate some of the suggestions and advice you have been offering.  In this way, I hope to gradually progress -- from city to city -- along my learning curve towards a more realistic and aesthetic city.

Esens, however, has not benefited from your remarks.  The town is very small and had already been finished before your comments gave me enough material to consider changes.  It would not have been worth the effort on such a small map to make drastic changes -- very little room to be "creative".

ESENS:  Four Views




As you can see, Esens is a rather small, utilitarian sort of town.  It's so small, one might call it a villiage.  Positioned where it is, on this tiny peninsula, it might have been a fishing villiage some years ago, or -- it might possibly have sprung up around this convenient cove where smuggling no doubt took place back in the days when Nelson was a lad.  At any rate, it does not amount to much these days.  Even the offshore shipping keeps its' distance; "places to go and things to do".  A concept somewhat alien to the locals.  There are a few shops and houses, a bit of industry, and the all-important power plant and trash docks.  The Esens town fathers were at least smart enough to encourage Norden to invest in these service industries.  In return for a guaranteed 100 year contract, Esens will provide a source of power and trash disposal for it's wealthy neighbor.  Not a bad deal -- unless the plant goes into meltdown!  The coves and inlets tucked into the east side of the peninsula still offer shelter for the occasional small boat seeking refuge from the North Sea gales, or maybe just a place to take a quiet break in a hospitable little backwater of a busy world.  Just the kind of place Childers might have tied up to write his classic novel.

ESENS:  Close up - two views


Here are two closer views of the town.  In the first one, you can spot one of the more adventurous residents hang-gliding over the Nuke plant -- something that would not be permitted in a less sleepy town.  And in the second picture you can see the SS Bella Goth rounding the peninsula escorted on her journey by my friend Moby!

PHARE AR-MEN LIGHT:  Three views



I provided three close-up views of the lighthouse for those that enjoy the detail.  That hang-glider dude does get around!  I may have to include an airship in some of these maps.  I seem to recall "blunder" making a zepplin way back when.  Might look nice out here.


A shot of the high rent district -- such as it is.  Nice little town -- but little it is.

INLETS & ISLANDS:  Three views



My innovation for this map was to carry over the marsh idea from the Harlesiel map and see what I could do with it.  I tried several different approaches to making a salt marsh, and wasn't satisfied with any of the results -- so I switched to a mini-fiord idea.  The map's really too small for a classic fiord -- so it became a cove, or an inlet -- with islands.  I had never tried this before, though I'd seen some very realistic islands in other member's pictures.  After a bit of fooling around, what you see here emerged in full bloom.  I rather like the inlets, if I do say so myself!   I can think of no better way to pass a few days than being aboard one of those yachts.  I'll be doing some more islands and trying other seashore effects in future city maps.  I have not yet given up on the salt marsh idea.


I couldn't finish up without a good close-up shot of "Somy's" ship; a small bulk carrier, the S.S. Bella Goth.  She is home-ported out of Nassau, as we can see from the hull detail.  Now, 15 days out of Galveston, her hatches are battened down tight and full to the brim with mid-western grain bound for the dockside at Wittmund.  A lovely piece of work by a master craftsman.

That pretty much wraps up our visit to the sleepy little town of Esens.
My next map will reflect several changes I have incorporated into it (fortunately, it was not too far along to bring in the bulldozers).  With all the new details -- it promises to be a very "picture heavy" installment.

AS ALWAYS -- I solicit and welcome your comments, criticism, and suggestions.  I appreciate those of you that tell me what you feel about the work -- but more importantly -- tell me WHY you feel that way.  It helps me understand what it is your trying to say and may help me translate it into something of interest.  It also saves me having to ask pointed questions.  Making "vague" comments really offers nothing I can work with.  And, sometimes, "pointed questions" may sound rude -- though that is never my intention.  My intention is to understand -- and if possible -- to benefit from your help.

Next time:
Jade Bight 8: Norden




The Jade Bight 6:

Welcome back to The Jade Bight!  
For those of you that celebrated Thanksgiving, I do hope you had a very happy one.  For those of us in "The States" -- the family holiday is over.  We're either back to work, or embarked on an absolute orgy of shopping and spending.  Either way -- the behavior can be considered obsessive.
I'm going to try to keep the text down to a minimum.  From what I can tell, most viewers are more interested in the pictures than the witty repartee' or the explanations.  But, as always, if you see something I don't mention -- simply ask -- I will be happy to respond with a more complete explanation.

This installment deals with the city of Wittmund, and is only the second Medium-sized map I have worked on.  Wittmund incorporates some of the lessons learned in the preceding three cities.  Taking some reliable advice from "rsc204", I have attempted to integrate the railways and highways with a bit more planning, while making sure they are connected to neighboring cities.  But I'm still not satisfied with the results.  I start out well enough, but as features are added or expanded, the rail nets and highway systems become entangled.  Too many road crossings.  As many of you have advised, I have retro-fitted road overpasses where possible.  If it required massive demolition, I did not pursue them.  On the recommendation of "heartless", I have begun to experiment with diagonal roads and roundabouts ( on a limited scale).  The old "ortho" design of Sc4 really discourages anything that is not square and it is hard to wrap one's head around the actual use of diagonals and sweeping curves.  But I'm working on that one.  On the previous recommendation of "heartless" I downloaded the "Heblem Sands" MMP for use with a future project, but had never installed it.  After some very enlightening and frank discussions with Tariely, and some extensive experimentation, I installed the download and have retro-fitted it to this map.  You should see some considerable improvement to my coastlines, and the appearance of some very interesting terrain features on future maps!  My compliments to Tariely, and MANY THANX !!  And -- ever present is dedgren's observation on scale.  I have attempted to divide the city into more recognizable zones for civic, port, industry, residential, and commercial.  And the idea was to work more on the city than on the industry.  We shall see how that worked out.

Here are three views of the city --



Wittmund currently has a population of 51,316.  It is bordered to the north by Harlesiel -- a "service" city perched astride the mouth of the Harle River leading into Wittmund.  Harlesiel  provides power and trash removal services.  To the east is the LNG port city of Schillig Roads, with adequate highway and rail connections.  To the south lies the yet to be developed massive port and naval complex of Wilhelshaven.  And to the west is the city of Norden -- well on its' way to being a major city in its' own right.
Please note that Wittmund has several large undeveloped areas and is still a work in progress.  I'm constantly fighting the urge to pack EVERYTHING into a city, and have not yet struck the ideal balance between green spaces and habitation.  The "anchor" features of the city are the seaport and the marina area.




I have provided three views for those of you that may wish to try building a headland for your lighthouses -- or perhaps for a wealthy mansion overlook.  As mentioned previously, the original lighthouse lot is from "Franku" and the Nexis lighthouse props have been used for a bit of variety.  The same old lighthouse would get terribly boring after a while.  I've planted a Maxis marina next door.  I like things sailing about amongst my whales.  It's too bad nobody ever saw fit to automate some seagoing vessels (or make diagonal props).


Here is a shot taken along the Harle River as it flows north toward the sea.  Please take note of the road overpass near the top right.  With more careful planning on my part, you will see a greater use of them.  And -- you can see my use of the diagonal road and rail running through the industrial zone.  If you examine the riverbanks, you will note the use of Heblem white sand.  I do think it ads considerably to the "natural" look and gives some definition to the riverbanks.  The Meadowshire Terrain Mod just didn't give it that "added touch" I was aiming for.


Here's a view of the industrial zone that hugs the bay north of the river and the highway.  Some of the industry grew naturally (with a bit of judicious pruning), while some of it was "plopped".  The game has a tendency to demand a lot of industry, but grows lots with low job counts -- encouraging massive industrial sprawl with little benefit.  Some careful "plopping" will satisfy RCI demand without eating up vast areas of map.  The problem is that you have to test the "plop" industry to determine whether or not it actually has an effect on your RCI.  Many of the "plop" lots do not effect the RCI and will eat up space with no job creation.  (Sounds like an Obama press conference! lol-lol)




Here are three views of the break-bulk seaport and attendant railyard.  This was an attempt to get a functioning seaport for the cargo handling benefit, without building a sprawling complex.  My previous bulk seaport was a massive affair and ate up a lot of land.  Here I tried to condense it down while maintaining a realistic appearance.  There are two "Nob" piers, one on either side, to create jobs -- and the railyard was condensed and stuck into an out of the way spot.  The seawalls around the railyard are my first attempt at using them.  I can't remember who made the seawalls, but I've seen them in many people's work and thought I'd give them a try.  My only complaint is that the promenade along the wall's edge is a bit cluttered for industrial zones.  On the other hand -- if you place them around residential or commercial -- they might look a bit out of place (they seem to be littered with trash piles).


Once again, we have a close-up of the port detail showing extensive use of filler lots.  My Modular Cargo Kit of filler lots can be used in various combinations to create whatever size port I require.


A close-up view of the railyard showing the new seawalls in better detail along with various filler lots from T-Wrecks, NBVC, etc, used to flesh it out


The distillery comes either as a reward, or as a "plop" lot.  The author did some wonderful work on this -- very realistic -- suitably "grungey".  I added a gated entrance, some parking in front, a security fence (it is, after all, a distiller of spirits), and used my modular cargo fillers to create a shipping yard on the right of the building.  AND -- it does count against the RCI.


I must confess I'm at a loss for a name for this stuff.  "Messier Dye Factory" comes to mind, but I can't remember.  I think it was added as a couple of old bonus lots in one of PEG's downloads -- just threw them in there to clear someone's hard drive, I guess.  I looked for them, but I think they're buried in one of those "exe" installer things they use.  But it makes a dandy factory complex when you place them together.  Forgive the street running through the compound, but each building requires access for the jobs (each one gives up about 500).  I added a PEG dock and a bunch of filler lots to create a shipping area and fill in other holes.


I suppose this could be called a yacht or a cabin cruiser -- take your pick.  Personally, anything this big and flashy should be called a yacht.  The old story is told that the multi-billionaire JP Morgan was once asked how much it cost to maintain his magnificent yacht.  His reply was simple -- "If you have to ask, you can't afford it!"  I just stuck this here as eye-candy.
Note the seashore detail with the new sand.  I like that stuff, Tariely!!  It allows you so much latitude to play with the shape of the shore -- leaving shallow spots here and there, etc.  It is, however, a bit difficult to use.  If you paint the sand first -- it's difficult to places trees (and vice-versa).


I rather like the concept of a "city center" -- the downtown area gathered around an old city square.  You find them in small towns in the US (haven't been bulldozed for redevelopment yet) and in the "old town" districts in Europe.  Note the first use of diagonal avenues and roundabouts (i.e., "heartless").  And the mayor's mansion tucked in amongst the high-rent condos.  The high-rise in the center is bordering on being too high -- may have to bulldoze.  Don't like pencil-towers.


I took the Alexander Column download and re-lotted it into a 4x4 using the four prop statues at the corners and the brick pavers.  You can use it as a stand-alone 4x4, or you can fill it out with park pieces and filler lots to create the 8x8 you see here.  
The statue in "Lee Circle" was named for Robert E. Lee by the author.  (Can't remember where I downloaded it.)  But it is, in fact, a bat model of the famous statue of J.E.B. Stuart found on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia.  The Lee statue is also found on Monument Avenue, but is much more grand -- truly magnificent -- as one would expect.  But this rendition of a statue is probably the best one I've found in the game (so far).  The man has talent!
Speaking of statues --- WE NEED MORE !!  Heroic and historic would do nicely, thank you!  Here's some inspiration --

sgtryja.jpg              bjQxK7a.jpg


My attempt here was to start with a sort of suburb thing -- with wooded areas separating buildings to avoid that "crowded" look.  As the residences approach the downtown area, they become closer together to mimic the built-up look of urban areas.  I'm trying hard to avoid neat rows of buildings slapped up against one another.  But it's still hard to get away from the "square" look.  My brain just hasn't grasped it, yet.  "Logic" says the square grid is more efficient.  So my efficient side is at war with my aesthetic side.


I rather like this combination, and you may see it a lot.  It "spiffs-up" the dull and drab Farmer's Market and you can configure it to fit it almost anywhere.


This is the Wittmund business district.  There are shops and offices scattered around other parts of the city to boost the neighborhoods, but the real money is to be made here!
ONE THING I LEARNED:  Don't plant Maxis Maples around the edges of the elevated highways !!!!  I have developed a tree filler lot to cover the ugly highway supports.





I've always wanted to put a big, fancy Marina smack in the middle of downtown.  And I had to resist the tendency to "sprawl".  As it turned out, it took up about 4 city blocks, but I like it.  Wish I could run "Skylines" -- I'd like to see this from street level!  These are the modular marina lots under development, and though they still need a bit of tweaking -- they have turned out well.  The modular approach allows great flexibility in size and shape.  In view #3 -- between the Washington Monument and the Telus building -- you will see the Winterton Memorial Monument.  I never knew "Barby", but I have taken note of her work and many other contributions to this community.  If possible -- you will always find this memorial in my cities.



I can't remember who authored this building -- but he's a master craftsman!!  The night lighting is genius!!  You can even see the interior detailing!!!  The only thing I can do is to try and put it in an elegant setting.


The Art Museum is so tiny -- it needs help.  But the Guggenhiem would have been too big.


At the top is the University -- surrounded by trees and decked out with a few filler lots.


Here we have the Opera House, the Prussian War Memorial, and the Main Library -- suitably adorned with gardens, statues, fountains -- etc.


Wittmund's mayor is a bit of an Anglophile, and when this bit of land came open for development, he insisted on a replica of Big Ben.  And fountains -- like the ones he'd seen in Trafalgar Square -- only Bigger!  And he was so proud of the finished plaza, that he requested His Majesty, The Emperor, to preside at the dedication.  Well -- once he laid eyes on the place, the Emperor insisted it be named in honor of his Grandmother -- Victoria!




Here we see a couple of yachts moored to the banks of the Harle River.  They were on their way to the Midtown Marina, but the noise of the "party-hardy" types attracted their attention, so they decided to try their luck here.  I often use the Lakeside Resort reward as more of a country club than a lakeside anything.  Backing it up to water takes up a lot of seashore -- while judicious placement of trees and shrubs can hide the boat docks on the back of the lot.  Makes it more flexible.  The riverbanks are much improved with the sand effect.


Not too much sprawl -- and still room to expand.



A couple more examples of what can be done with filler lots.


I just kinda liked the way this one turned out.  The original lot is very nice all by itself -- has a lot of "character".  But add some parking on the right and some filler lots on the left -- and you've got a nice little vignette!

Well -- as they say -- "That's all you get for a dollar!"

I'm about four cities ahead -- "development-wise" -- and I need to keep it that way.

AS ALWAYS -- comments, critiques, and advice are solicited and will be most apprciated.

COMING SOON -- ESENS!  A small but cozy little place.



The Jade Bight 5:

Thank you for paying another visit to the region of The Jade Bight.  I'm very happy to see that some of you are finding it of interest.  I am, however, a bit surprised to find there are not more visitors to the thread.  I have always believed (without any data to back it up) that there were multitudes of people all over the world visiting "Simtrop" on a daily or weekly basis.  Consequently, the Law Of Averages says there should be more people visiting my thread -- by design, or by accident.  But, I suppose, that is neither here nor there, as they say.  I am pleased that comments seem to be running to about 50% of the visitors.  Comments, critiques, AND advice are always welcome -- and always given due consideration.  I hope to hear more from all of you as you become comfortable with your visits to The Jade Bight.

I would like to take a moment to thank all of the members that have, so far, helped me move forward in what is an ongoing, and will be, a very long journey.  My clueless questions litter this forum like "landmines of stupid" waiting to explode in a cloud of dumb!!  I played Sc4 for many months with absolutely no idea HOW the little buildings appeared on the map and even less knowledge of WHERE they came from.  Many of you have taken the time to explain things to me and your advice has been much appreciated.  But I would like to extend a "special" thanks to "MGB / rsc204".  He spent a great deal of time, out of the kindness of his of heart, teaching me the techniques of making a lot.  That sounds very simple, but if you explain it properly -- as he did -- you discover that all things in this game are intertwined.  And nothing is ever simple.  I will not belabor the point, for I think MGB is a modest fellow and would shun glowing praise.  But, if not for his tireless patience and efforts -- I would have no pictures worth showing you, and would not have enjoyed the many pleasurable hours his tutoring brought me.  Whatever skills you see in these pictures are entirely his doing.

I was kind of laying about, toying with a few game ideas, considering improvements to cities currently building, and experimenting with some in-game tools I haven't used (in response to your advice and game tips).  Then I suddenly realized that Thanksgiving, here in the USA, is upon me.  I know many of you don't celebrate this Holiday -- but here in the US -- it's a major, major thing!  This is what we call a "family holiday" -- which means you gather with family and friends and enjoy the company of people you care about -- some of whom you don't get to see very often.  A young man or young lady often chooses this time to bring a "friend" home to meet Mom & Dad, or your wife or husband gets a bit "P**offed" because they have to spend the day with "the dreaded inlaws".  Either way -- I knew I was going to have to post this installment now -- or put it off for a week.  God help the man that tucks himself away in his den (or smoking room) during a family holiday.  Football is enough of an intrusion during the Holiday Season.  Sc4 would be the final straw!! (lol-lol)

This installment will be a bit shorter than the last -- if for no other reason -- it's a "small map".  And -- as we progress through our tour of The Jade Bight, there will be fewer and fewer "revolutionary" ideas or combinations to show you.  But -- there will always be a more creative way to make a presentation.  I shall endeavour to keep you entertained.

The real Harlesiel is a rather small town (about 800 people) founded in 1956 after the completion of a large land reclamation project.  It sits on the East Frisian Coast, nestled among the salt marshes and sand dunes at the mouth of the placid Harle River.  The town is something of a resort (on a small scale) with a swimming pool, golf course, several nice restaurants and Gasthouses, a small marina, and a comfortable hotel.  There is, of course, a town hall and a small cargo pier -- but the main feature is a Car Ferry running the Wangerooge Island route.

I was visiting another CJ just the other day and "Dedgren" very gently pointed out to the author that his map was far too small for "the grand scheme of things".  The scale is always the probelm in Sc4.  After my mess on Wangerooge Island, I have tried very hard to achieve my goals for a map while keeping an eye on "the scale of things".  I fear that my search for the new and unusual still gets in the way.  The size of the map, the configuration of the land mass, and the lot placement is a constant battle for space and scale.  

Schillig Roads was an improvement, but I handled the residential areas somewhat poorly, mainly because nothing grows very well in your first major city in a new region.  In a "virgin" region, residential growth can only be accomplished by suburban sprawl -- it's eats up lots of map but there is little development.  I may well come back to Schillig Roads in future and indulge in some massive suburban renewal efforts.

In keeping with my policy, Harlesiel will provide a power source and trash removal service for its' neighbor to the south -- Wittmund (currently well-advanced).  I've used a Google map for some basic ideas about the town and know it must contain trash docks, a power plant, a small marina, a car ferry, and a small cargo pier.  So that is what I must cram into a small map and try my best to make it look good!   





At first glance, the map is a bit better proportioned than Wangerooge, but still a tad crowded.  The breakwaters on the western side of the peninsula are a bit contrived, and I would rather have done without them, but the prevailing current along the Frisian Coast is from the west -- so they were necessary.


This time I selected a smaller power plant more in keeping with the surroundings -- the Muleberg Nuclear Power Facility.  SFBT's lot is comparatively small, compact, and they've done a good job of detailing with fences and parking.  The only thing I added was the gate and the guard's parking lot.  If you have been following along, you already know where the two lots came from.  I'm going to do a lot less explaining in this installment -- simply by not repeating what was mentioned in a previous posting.  If you still have questions -- post a comment and I will do my best to answer.


Here you have the inevitable PEG trash docks in an out-of-the-way corner, with a PEG "ploppable" scow anchored alongside the breakwater waiting it's turn.



Here we have two views of the cargo handling facility for Harlesiel.  The "Nob" pier lots are ideal for these small harbors -- kind of "grungey" and run-down.  I've placed a small "token" rail yard in the interests of realism, but resisted getting carried away with it.


The cargo handling area to the left of the pier was deliberately built out on extended land and contained by ripp-rapp seawalls to give the impression that it had been recently built to up-grade the facilities.  This is a smaller configuration of my "Modular Cargo Set" of custom lots.  I designed the set so that it could be layed-out in any shape, and could be made as small or as large as needed.  Ahhh -- the joys of what you can do with EDITOR and the "prop locker".


The bridge was chosen for it's antique look -- something you might find out on the wilds of a coastal plain.  It is too high, and the approaches are a bit cramped -- but, as you see -- I had to leave room for pleasure craft bound upriver for Wittmund.  Note the "plop" boats anchored near the bank.



This was my first attempt at creating shallow areas with small islands, trees, and rocks.  In all my time playing Sc4, I had never even tried to make a small island.  The "Brigatine" water Mod was a true revelation.  (MGB's suggestion!)  I found the transparent effects of the beaches fascinating.  After much practice, I discovered that using "sea level mode", I could move offshore and create a terraced effect to the sea floor -- kind of like steps leading down to the bottom.  Further use of the Mayor Mode "smoothing" tool, produced a "shelving sea floor" with no sharp edges and a pleasing, realistic look.  From there -- it naturally followed that I would have to attempt to make shallow areas like those found all along the Frisian Coast.  I have, more or less, managed to make shallows with islands dotted about -- but have yet to attempt a salt marsh or a mud flat (most common to the Frisians).  For those of you interested, the rocks and gravel are NBVC MMP's and the Ashe trees, cattails, and bushes are from Girafe's MMP packs.  Very usefull -- I hope you will try them out.


Here you have the small shipping basin of the Harle River -- the chief reason for the existence of Harlesiel.  It is the life-blood of the small community.  The ferry is a vital communication link, while the marina provides a quiet little berth for those seeking a hideaway, or a safe harbor from the notorious North Sea gales.



This is the yacht basin -- where the seafaring types hang out.  Some of them have found a quiet little place to tie up and live out their private lives on their boats in a friendly little village.  Others are true "old salts" who spend their time hauling small cargoes or people from port to port, while others are obsessed by the "Riddle Of The Sands" of the North Sea.  They live out their lives on the waves and the tides, only touching port for provisions and repairs.  But all of them come here for safety -- or to some other small port -- for no man is an island.

The lots started life as a "Mediterranean Marina" in Benoit's "Saint Tropez" series around 2009.  But, for some reason, he never finished nor released the lots and simply put them up for download -- as is -- over on SC4DEV.  I've always loved the PEG yachts and cabin cruisers -- the modeling work is stupendous -- but they have never been released outside their "waterfront" concepts. The other boats, by Calligrafix, are equally good -- but -- they, too, have not been seen very much.  In my obsession with these boats -- I took them and re-lotted them into what I call "The Nordswee Modular Marina Set".  It will no longer be a Mediterranean Theme, nor will it have all the trappings of the "Riviera-style" buildings (In fact, there are no buildings!).  But it is designed to fit into almost any decor you choose, and will come in a variety of lot sizes so that you can arrange them any way you see fit -- into a small, or a large marina. (You will see other examples of this size and shape flexibility as we tour The Jade Bight.)  A very generous member has kindly offered to help me get them ready for "release".  I can make a pretty good lot -- but I have no concept how they should be prepared for release so that they will be easy and trouble-free for the members.  We hope to release them soon.



Two views of "Somy's" most excellent car ferry terminal and car ferry boat lots.  "The Angela Pleasant" is taking on a full load of cars and passengers bound for tiny Wangerooge Island.  Somy's stuff is truly amazing -- his skills flawless -- his realism awesome (dare I use an over-worked word).  I cannot say more.

Note the use of my custom-lotted lighthouse -- fits into almost any place with ease.


Here you see the entrance to the harbor basin.  Unfortunately, most of the harbor mouths found along the Frisian Coast are either angled, or have beautiful sweeping curves built into their breakwaters.  Sc4 does not make it easy to model something to replicate those angles and curves, so we must make do.  Since the North Sea is shallow, and very tidal -- the harbors are threatened by silt build-up.  Consequently, the breakwaters were built to prevent silt from closing off the harbors, or even moving their channels (obvious hazards to navigation).  The twin piers / breakwaters on either side of the entrance provide for a channel that may be easily dredged to the desired depth and kept that way with little maintenance.  Some of these channels extend for miles offshore because when the tide goes out, there is nothing but mud left outside the channels.  Many of the small ports have outer and inner harbors.  The inner harbors are usually a tidal basin -- closed off by locks so they will not be left high and dry.  I have yet to find any way to make a realistic looking transition between the sea and a harbor lock (but I'm working on it).

WELL  --  I said I was going to keep this one brief and to the point.  
I hope you have enjoyed the pictures and even the boring commentary! (lol)  

PLEASE -- favor me with a comment, some advice, or perhaps even a suggestion for how to throw together a tidal harbor -- with a lock!

The Jade Bight 6:



The Jade Bight 04
Schilling Roads

Welcome to another offering of the Jade Bight Saga!
I know I said I was going to take a few days off -- and I did take one day off.  But I told myself I'd just work on installment 4 a little at a time.  You know -- an hour here, an hour there.  And that theory was working well, until I realized I had taken so many pictures!!!  At that point I knew it would take a couple of days just to write up the text.
Plus -- over the weekend, I have been watching -- with much concern -- the events unfolding in France.  The people of "La Belle Paris" have my deepest sympathies.  I am an old soldier, and the majority of my life has been shaped by the lessons I brought away from the Army.  I have seen war -- things most people will never comprehend.  But I say here and now, that this act of such brutal slaughter upon innocent and helpless civilians can only be perpetrated by people that are less than human and certainly beneath the contempt of their fellow men.  Just thinking about it makes my blood boil!  But I will say no more.  I do not wish to offend, nor do I wish to be reprimanded.

So...we begin --
After my complete failure on Wangerooge Island, I made every effort to plan this city with more care.  I learned to be wary of "Industrial sprawl" -- which looks realistic -- but can eat up even a medium map if not guarded against.  So, instead of just plopping stuff willy-nilly, I took the time to do a bit of planning on paper, like we did in City Planning Class back in the olden days.  Schillig Roads would also be my first effort at introducing highways and rail lines to my new "realism" experience.  As I said earlier -- in previous games I simply ignored them because they did not make a significant difference to the all-important population growth  And there would be many more "firsts" with Schillig Roads because it was my first work on a Medium map space and I was determined to make the most of it.  I will, however, let you be the judge of the results.

Before we move on -- I wish to publicly post a sort of disclaimer.  We are about to look at pictures of cities containing a bunch of custom lots from a variety of authors.  Some lots I have made myself, with Editor and the associated "prop locker".  Some lots I have downloaded from an exchange, and then modified for my own purposes.  Normally, I would not even think of a disclaimer, but I have seen some discussions on the site with members accusing other members of plagiarism and theft.  I would not "steal" someone's artistic property.  We all "share" these downloads out of the kindness of the author's heart and it would be a grave injustice to them to deny their authorship.  I will, at all times, try to mention the origin of the lot, but may fail to do so out of forgetfulness, or a bad memory.  I cannot claim authorship of any lot or prop because I cannot make a "Bat" to save my life!!  If I claim any credit at all -- it would be my skill in taking other people's art and arranging it on a lot to better advantage.  I do have a skill for the "layout" of a single lot or for a modular system.  And I may well have a talent in adding props for a more realistic feel.  Beyond that -- I claim NO credit -- and will attempt to give credit where credit is due.  And I sincerely thank all those "Batters" out there that have provided me with so many hours of pleasure !!!


Just one more thing.... I should point out, that Schillig Roads is "a work in progress".  You will note a good deal of empty space on the map.  Some of them will eventually wind up covered in trees if I don't use them, while others have already been targeted for future development.  But things did not always look this promising.

When the lost and lonely turned up to build on the shores of The Jade Bight, their only neighbor was the poor little community on Wangerooge Island.  Consequently, the city fathers found it difficult to get any sort of economy started -- no one to trade with!  And without economic stimulus, the city did not attract new occupants (Follow the money -- right?).  So, after much deliberation (and a couple belts of Schnaps!), Schillig Roads' Mayor recruited some gutsy adventurers and set off into the North German Wilds to found more cities.  He reasoned that more cities would mean more trade and social exchange.  More trade meant more money.  And more money meant more of EVERYTHING for everyone!  The other option was to sit around for years waiting for very small neighborhoods to grow into not so VERY small neighborhoods.  But that would have been like watching paint dry, wouldn't it?  So now that the Mayor has founded all these other cities, and the region has begun to thrive, he returns to Schillig Roads from time to time to impart wisdom and progress to his first-born city.  (Hence all those statues of the guy!) 




Schillig Roads is a medium-sized seaport of (currently) 37,391 souls.  The weather is, sometimes, clear and sunny -- but more often than not -- it is grey, overcast, and prone to gales that blow up suddenly from the English Channel.  The citizens are a hard-working lot; approximately half of them are the low earners, while the 5,000 at the top are the rich S.O.B.'s !!  Most Schillig Herren und Dammen have just about maxed-out their educational opportunities and enjoy a youthful existence somewhere in the "20 - 30 something" range.  The average income is around 65k -- so those rich SOB's must REALLY be livin' LARGE!  Grampa, on the other hand, can only expect to reach age 70 before they plant him!  The City Budget is in great shape -- even though the mayor lives in a big mansion in the uptown district and tends to throw a lot of wild parties.  Go figure!  But -- traffic is not a problem, and the trains do run on time!!



This is a small up-scale suburb just on the northern edge of the high-rent district.  The marina belongs to the country club set, but the resort hotel is where they keep the bar (aged Scotch, I'm told).  Gossip in the hotel bar says the guy that owns the big, green, yacht makes his money in the Gentleman's Card Room -- Bacarat sometimes, mostly Poker games, though.
The Marina is one of the modular sets by NBVC and I find it very useful for small, neighborhood locations like this.  The large cabin cruiser and the three small sailing yachts are by Calligrafix and I re-lotted them.  They are attached to a "plop" lot on the shoreline covered by Girafe's Ashe trees.  The two trunk cabin cruisers and the ketch by the hotel are from PEG, and MGB very kindly turned them into a water "plop" lot.  The rich do enjoy their toys, don't they.


In the lower left of the picture, you will see my 2x2 custom lot -- The Rhinelander Platz.  The two fountains are also custom lots I made from the "prop locker".  I make a lot of custom lots like these.  Since I like the "Imperial Period" of Germany -- I like the impressive statuary that was erected at the time.  The "lot exchange" sites (STEX, LEX, etc) are just packed full of parks and flower gardens, but 1x1 "plop" statues are at a premium.  When I find something I can convert into a stand-alone statue -- I jump right on it.  It's my greatest regret that no one has yet seen fit to "bat" a "big" statue of Otto Von Bismarck.  We need more statues, people!!   Once again I have used Debusseyman's L'Assomption building as a library.  I love the neo-classical buildings from Berlin that he has given us.  He was a true "master" of "Imperial" architecture. (I presume he no longer "bats" since nothing new has come out in a very long time.  Great shame -- he was talented, indeed!)


Here was this odd section of turf -- just begging for something unusual -- so I plopped down the Observatory of Athens and decorated it with some 1x1 gardens, the Lions Of Bertholdi, and the Sim Explorer monument.  Just down from it, I placed two Prussian Memorials and a small version of the Fountain of Minerva.  The Prussian Memorial was the first custom lot I ever created.  The centerpiece is "The Column of Heroes" lot.  Just across the street from it, is another 2x2 lot I made called "The Potsdamer Platz" with two more custom fountains from the "prop locker".

Part of my quest for "realism" includes making room in the city for fountains, statues, and plazas.  The overwhelming drive to reach higher and higher population figures discouraged any sort of city beautification that took up space.  Nothing but streets, subways, and pencil-towers.  No statues -- and you wouldn't be able to see them through the pencil-towers, anyhow!!  I've traveled to some of the most beautiful cities in the world -- and they all had parks, statues, neo-classical buildings, and tree-lined boulevards.


The City Hall, the Courthouse, and the Mayor's Mansion.  Notice the mayor's house is on the left -- must be a Democrat! (lol-lol)  Must be nice to live in a posh neighborhood, one block from work, with limousine service -- and The People pay for it!!  (Having said all that -- he may well be a Republican!)


This kind of got away from me.  European cities especially, have city squares and sometimes a central one where most of the government buildings are located -- ministry of this and that -- Ministry of Silly Walks -- and art museums and the opera house.  I try to concentrate those sorts of buildings in a "city center".  Some people scatter them around the city in order to spread the area effected by their bonus qualities -- but I think the bonus effect and "cap buster" effects will work just fine this way.  I like something "monumental" and ornate for the city center.  Being a "Yank" I naturally favor the Washington Monument.  I like Oppie's Canals for ornate architecture areas -- I haven't, so far, used canal sets for anything else.  I may have to look into industrial canals -- but that's later.  I simply made the city center too big.  But it's difficult to work with the Washington Monument -- it's a 3x3 lot.  Avenues and highways are 2 squares wide -- and it is nearly impossible to "center" anything that is 3x3!!!  But it looks good at night ! (lol)
Down to the lower left you will see two of the Maxis Butts Condos.  I re-lotted those as some of my first "grow residentials".  The Riverside South Condos pop up from time to time and nearly wore out MGB's patience while he was teaching me! (lol)


I always found the Farmer's Market kind of bland, though useful.  In an effort to "spiff it up" for my new cities, I combined it with some IRM parking lots and the BSC modular park kit complete with the Cerulean Tower.  Looks pretty good now!


This one makes me laugh.  I plopped the depot down thinking I was gonna get some freight traffic moving.  Imagine my shock when I saw passenger trains running !!!  I think it's a "Nob" lot, and he doesn't label them for some reason.  All of his lots are left blank, so you either have to guess at them, or go in with Editor and fiddle with Japanese stuff, hoping you're getting it right.  But it looks good!
Notice the filler detail with freight, trucks, etc.  Each of the industrial buildings gets the same treatment.  A bland-looking Maxis building will take on an entirely new look with a few filler lots you can whip together in Editor right out of the "prop locker"!


I am really quite tickled with detail work.  After trying it once, I was hooked!  MGB once pointed me in the right direction by showing me some of his industrial work.  Adding the filler lots really brings your industrial areas to life.  I make sure the filler lots have as many people as practical to provide a sense of movement, and I try to tie in the fillers to what ever type of industry it is -- i.e., cement bags at a cement plant.  I zone a large area and let it grow.  Then I come back and decide which factories I will keep -- and bulldoze the unlucky ones.  This method allows room for filler lots -- and trees.  I have not yet experimented with large industrial zones covered in concrete.  I'm saving those types for the inland cities.  The filler lots come from a lot of places -- some I've made in Editor -- others belong to T-Wrecks' IRM, and especially NBVC's Modular Container Port.  NBVC provided a very useful modular set with concrete, fences, and road textures -- and -- it blends perfectly with PEG's "seaport look"!  Anyone looking to make a massive and realistic-looking container port should have his set.  It also has the added advantage that of all the sets I looked at -- his actually had "active" links to dependencies!!!  Others proved to be useless because you could no longer track down the dependencies -- or you got into a situation where dependencies had their own dependencies -- "ad infinitum"!!!


Here you see the water pumping station for Schillig Roads.  It's funny -- in the "vanilla" version of the game, everyone ignored the water supply to the point of forgetting it was there.  It was common to find a spot far away from pollution sources and simply squirrel them away -- out of sight, out of mind.  When you suddenly ran out of water, you had to pull up the map just to find them again!
I have taken the opposite approach.  The water pumping station where you live is not tucked behind a tall building to hide it.  Usually, it's a fair-sized installation with emplyees, etc.  I've used T-Wrecks' parking and his gate, along with my custom security fence kit, to include parking for the gate guards.  One cannot be too careful in these troubled times....


This is an overview of the break-bulk seaport complex.  Schillig Roads is not a large seaport, as such, but it represents part of the "seaport sprawl" that spills out of the massive complex in Wilhelmshaven, to the south.  You see a PEG break-bulk seaport on the left, and PEG's Vandy Shipping on the right.  The break-bulk is road and rail enabled for freight handling, and the Vandy provides jobs.  The cargo docks are supported by a small freight enabled rail depot, and a small rail yard.  The whole of it is enclosed by a security fence and is surrounded by a forested buffer area to keep the noise and activity from annoying the locals.


First -- let me say that I NEVER use the Maxis Seaports.  They look like children's toys compared to PEG's work -- and you never know which way the ship will sail -- or even IF it will sail.  A failed effort at automata if I ever saw one.  I've always considered the PEG seaports to be "top drawer" art work and reasonably functional.  Obviously, the multitude of activity in any real-world seaport had to be condensed into as small a space as possible for game purposes.  But I think they missed an opportunity.  I have filled a reasonably small space across the street from the docks with a cargo handling area.  Goods coming from the rail depot are stored here while awaiting shippment -- and goods coming ashore are stored awaiting rail or truck transport.  It only seemed logical to include that step.


The major freight distribution from the seaport is by rail.  The freight depot is by SimGoober -- he has two included in the download, and I picked the one with the least containers since this is a break-bulk seaport.  Once again, I have used the CDK3 basic docks as visual fillers for loading platforms, etc, and the jobs.  The freight car rail sidings are by SFBT.  I have interspersed the entire yard with filler lots -- some of my own, some by T-Wrecks, and a variety of other 1x1 "ploppables".  Note the "decaying", blackened water tower at lower right.  BSC provides several good rail filler-type lots -- 1x1, 2x1, and 2x2 -- parking, signal boxes, etc.  But they almost all require road access, so you have to be careful where you place them.  I have since fixed the issue.


Awwww -- !  Now THIS is my "Baby".  I was fascinated with steam locomotives as a child and was fortunate enough, later in life, to spend a good deal of time in Germany when they still ran steam engines.  Every morning, on my way to the kaserne, I would stop along the rail line and watch the morning "steamer" go by.  The engineer got used to seeing me and he would play merry H*** with his whistle.  Wonderful man!  (It just goes to show -- no matter how old you are -- the inner child remains!)
I think the engine props are part of a PEG Resource pack (maybe).  I borrowed a small rail siding from NBVC's Tank Car Filling Terminal, stripped off the props, and plopped the engines down.  I used the "effect" smoke from the Advanced Research Center to simulate the steam you used to see billowing from an engine at rest.  The NBVC track is enabled at both ends, while the SFBT sidings are only enabled at one end.  I do not possess the experise to enable traffic on any lot, so I have to get creative when I want something badly!! (lol)  You will see those engines a lot!!


Every good seaport HAS to have tugboats.  I'm not at all sure how members manage to squeeze all those ships into all those tightly packed seaport cities WITHOUT tugs -- but you hardly ever see them.  The tugs are by Somy and the large, modern structure next to them is the JRJ Transit Control Tower.  Since there were two major industries (cargo & LNG) sharing the roadsted, I felt it necessary to build a control tower to keep the maritime traffic coordinated.  JRJ did a wonderful job and I could not ask for a better control tower!!  And THANK YOU Somy, for providing for "the obvious" with your usual talent.
However, I do have a beef with the "batters" out there.  Let me first say that I know nothing about "batting" excpet that it looks massively complicated, and horrendously time-consuming (read - tedious).  BUT -- why has no one excpet Somy bothered with tugboats???  The New York Port Authority has some of the most unique looking tugboats you'll ever want to see.  And the Europeans have those big, fabulous looking seagoing tugs.  A dock with some tugs tied up -- mix both the US and the European tugs --  and then make a couple of lots we can randomly plop out in the water.  AND ESPECIALLY -- at least one water lot on the DIAGONAL.  Ships are absolutely beautiful out in the water.  Men of the sea going about their business from the Flagsted Light to Sydney Harbor.  The whole thing fairly evokes the "romance of the sea".  And then you blow the whole visual thing because the boat only goes right or left, or up and down!!!   JEEEEZ!


Every good port also needs a lighthouse!!  I always place the Maxis Lighthouse near the ports because of the "boost" it gives them.  But I think you need a BIG lighthouse to mark your city.  (For all those "square" ships out there! lol)  I took Franku's Dutch Lighthouse and reduced the lot size to a 1x3 so it would fit just about anywhere without taking up too much space or requiring you to add large amounts of land to place it.  You can, if you so desire, make simple filler lots for a house or storage shed and place them as modular addons.  I HAD to use Franku's lot because he had the "light" in the lighthouse.  I know that sound's like a joke, but I don't know how to get the light effect UP in the top of the lighthouse!!!  I also replaced his lighthouse with a NEXIS Lighthouse prop.  I'm about ready to do another one using black stripes to provide more variety.  The base was covered with NBVC rock and I threw in some T-Wrecks parking to compliment the necessary road access.  I have since learned how to disable road access and will do that on the new lighthouse.

NORDSEE LNG; Schillig Roads Division:

THIS is the "piece de resistance" of Schillig Roads.  I am very proud of this and DO hope you like it. 

Nordsee LNG is the "anchor" industry for the city.  My personal system requires each map to have some sort of focal point.  It could be the thing you most enjoyed building, or perhaps the thing you most want to show-off to other people.  All of my medium and large maps will be based on that theory.  In ideal situations, they will always have an anchor industry, and may well have some other feature of significance.  The land mass beneath Nordsee LNG is based, loosely, on LNG terminals found in Scotland and Louisiana.
A bit about the process of construction...
You've heard me complain about the 6x6 oil refinery??  Well, here is my answer to that.
My first step in planning a major industry build is Wikipedia, where I obtain a world-wide list of LNG facilities.  With Google Maps, I search them out, looking for a unique layout, or pieces of different layouts that I can combine.  Next step is back to Wikipedia to find out exactly how raw product flows through the actual facility.  LNG comes ashore from the gas wells out in the North Sea and has to be processed -- knowing the different "stages" helps in building a logical plant.  Wiki helps me figure out what parts of the "physical plant" I will need for my Terminal.  I draw up a product flow chart that helps decide the actual placement of various parts of the refinery.  Wouldn't make sense to place a storage tank on the other side of a refinery from the raw material to be stored -- right?  Now I go to Google Images to find pictures of what kind of equipment can be found in an LNG plant.  I can't realistically "model" the plant apparatus if I don't know what it looks like.  Once the layout has been determined, the physical plant needs are ascertained, and I have pictures of the facilities -- I go looking in my drop-down menus.  There are tons and tons of stuff on exchanges that can be used to build or "represent" almost any industry.  It may have been lotted as a refinery cracking tower, but it looks pretty much like an LNG condensation tower -- so use it!!  If I can't find it in the drop-downs, or as a download, I go into the "prop locker" and make a custom lot that looks something like it.  To repeat MGB -- "Go for the essence of the thing".  Always connect your individual "units" with pipes or pipelines (above or below ground) and add roads, etc, that interfere with the equipment as little as possible.  I am firmly convinced that this process will yield you THE most "realistic" LNG plant (or any other type of factory) you will ever hope to see.  Sorry I went on and on about my methodical process -- but I HATE 6x6 refineries (and mountains).
I will do my best to point out and name all of the various lots for you -- but don't hold your breath! (lol)


The off-load terminals are frequently placed on a peninsula that has been extended from land out into the bay where water may be a bit deeper to accommodate large vessels.  What you see here are two, matching, discharge points.  Each one consists of the tanker, a pier with tanks, a discharge control office, a vapor condensing tower, and three spherical vapor tanks -- all connected in logical sequence with pipelines.
The tanker, pier with attached tanks, and green tanks are all "Somy" (Saints preserve him).  The tower is a "Chapapotex Aerial Distiller".  The discharge control office to the right of the pier is a custom lot from the "prop locker" to simulate the "master control" for that particular pier.  The white multi-pipe lines are from NBVC's Oil Port, and the "steel-looking" pipelines are from the ISAT Pipeline Set.
The most difficult part of the whole thing is laying out the units so that they can connect with pipelines.  Note the pipeline crossing the road from the shore terminal, and the pipelines crossing the road at the top of the picture on their way to the rest of the plant.  Everything is linked together in the logical product flow sequence -- and that took a bit of doing.  BTW -- the night lighting on these lots is absolutely stunning!!  Somy even put lights on the tankers!!  Genius -- PURE GENIUS!!  If I missed anything -- drop me a question in the comments section.


I started out planning on the "Nob" pier at the end of the peninsula, because none of the lots in the LNG complex provide jobs.  All of this eye-candy is absolutely magnificent, but it provides no employment or tax money for your city.  The Nob pier provides 625 jobs and represents the cargo handling facility that you would find at a processing complex of this size.  The peculiar shape of the peninsula dictated the need for fire and police protection, so I used the PEG piers in order to avoid cluttering up the LNG plant.  The only police or fire boats that I could find belong to the PEG Boardwalk system.  I would have preferred something more industrial and I find working with the PEG Boardwalks difficult.  Even after you use their leveler tool on the shoreline, the lot placement can be tedious.  The corner lots are especially difficult and, as you can see, they don't blend in well with adjacent stuff.  I guess you can't have everything.  I used PEG RCI docks to extend Nob's pier on either side.  And you will note the fenced parking areas, cargo and trucks, and other filler lots dotted here and there for effect.  Some of them are mine, and others belong to T-Wrecks.  You will also see the use of Girafe's MMP Ashe trees filling in blank areas here and there.  The seawalls are, of course, NBVC's Ripp-Rapp Rock.  Once again -- beware the steamboats on the Nob Pier Lots.


I threw this picture in because Somy's stuff deserves a close-up! (lol)  Note the "discharge Control building" just behind the parked trucks.  I whipped that up by jamming two props together to make a small office.  Somy's art is absolutely amazing.  His attention to detail is only rivaled by Debussey man.  Maybe not exceeded -- but certainly rivaled!


This is the upper end of the peninsula, and I will not go into too much detail here.  The 4-tank sets are by SFBT and the flair towers are by Somy.  You will note the storage, parking, and equipment filler lots scattered about.  Again, I think the detail added by filler lots makes all the difference in the realistic appearance.  You may notice that just below the SFBT tanks on the left, the road rises up a gentle incline to the top of a plateau.  I placed the main processing plant on top of the hill and used the NAM32 "riser" lots to build a perfectly smooth slope for the road.  Something I just recently learned how to do.  If you look just above the road, you will see a retaining wall in the shade.  Those are the brick JS v.3 seawalls used on land.  I saw that in another picture sent to me by MGB.  Very useful.


This is an overview of the main part of the processing plant on top of a wooded hill.  I tried very hard to keep it compact, following a logical flow, with no unnecessary sprawl on top of the hill.  The two large tanks, two small tank processors, and the tower are all Somy's stuff.  The two smaller tower lots kind of in the back corner of the hill are mine.  I used several different buildings and props to make them in order to fulfill a product processing need.  I took great pains in landscaping the sides of the hill.  I had never done a hill with the Meadowshire Terrain Mod and was wary of messing it up.


Here's another shot of the tank storage area showing the extensive use of filler lots to add detail.  Note the heavy use of pipelines and how they all flow in a logical sequence.  Everything is connected -- from ship to distribution.


This is the lower end of the main processing plant.  The silvery-looking unit is a "Chapapotex Vacuum Distiller".  I have scattered filler lots throughout, and since the processing plant provides no jobs -- extensive use has been made of the CDK3 docks where appropriate.


Here we have the truck distribution point.  I was forced to use regular tanker trucks as vehicles since there does not appear to be any tanker trucks "batted" for LNG hauling.  Lamentable -- but we must make do as best we can.  The white pipes and tanks are NBVC's oil port, and the surrounding docks are, of course, CDK3.  The small rail siding is by SFBT and provides an entry point for incoming freight to maintain the operation of the facility.  Once again, you see my steam engine lot !!  I had to improvise a "filling" procedure for the trucks by using one side of NBVC's pipe bridge as an overhead hose transfer.  Couldn't find anything in the "prop locker" that looked like a tanker truck filling station!  But I thought it turned out well, nonetheless.


You know -- sometimes I wonder what I would do without NBVC's work!  His stuff is invariably high quality, well thought out, and useful in a multitude of situations.  And his stuff always comes with a separate lot file!  This is his "Tank Car Filling Terminal" rail yard -- and industry would be in big trouble without it!!  Again, there does not appear to be any particular rail cars devoted to the transport of LNG, and I wonder why?  LNG is a huge source of energy, and provides a huge chunk of Europe with an economy!  Some enterprising "batter" out there could get a few pictures off Google and whip up a couple props to stick in some railroad prop resource pack.  At any rate, NBVC has also provided me with a coal yard rail facility (but that's another city).  You simply open this lot in Editor and go to work.  It makes an excellent base lot to work with.  Most of the other stuff in the picture you, doubtless, recognize from previous shots.


This is the Metering Facility.  It sets at ground level with the Meadowshire Terrain Controller giving us a very attractive rock face backdrop.  Just a little terrain dressing with trees and bushes and it looks pretty good.  This facility measures the volume of gas flowing out to a local distributor or to pipelines connected to outlaying cities.  Once that is done, the Administrative building next door sends out a huge bill for the purchase!!  The small 2x2 lot next to the LNG tanks is a custom job I whipped up to represent the actual metering building.  The admin offices are another custom lot using a Maxis building as prop.  Access to the entire facility is closely monitored with guarded gates and security fences and the area is surrounded with a forested buffer zone.  Look carefully and you will notice that even the Admin building has a public access separate from its access to the plant.  This prevents persistent job applicants from wandering around the plant! (lol)  "If we need ya', we'll call ya!"


I noticed some of the other journals include night shots with their presentations, so here's a wide shot of the city.


And here's a closer night shot of the LNG Terminal.  If you guys like these night shots -- let me know and I'll do them more often.

The following are just some random shots, mostly very close-up, to give some of you folks some ideas for filler lots.  You may ALL have this stuff already -- or maybe not.  But I hope it will encourage some of you to make a few.  Don't forget what they say -- "The Devil is in the details".  And the more detail you add the better.  Industry, in particular, was short-changed in the original release version of Sc4.  Not enough props or textures -- and certainly not enough variety.  Variety and detail -- IMHO -- makes all the difference!





This just popped-up before publication of this installment.  Note the use of The BSC Azaelea Garden and the Niagara Square obilisk.  Makes a nice park.


Here's a shot of a small industrial zone that just "filled in".  It's quite a mix of industry.  At the top is one of my custom grow lots: Ares Defense Group (IHT) and to the right is the (white) Nokia Building (IHT) by Matt325.  The rest is dirty industry.


You're all familiar with Maxis Gundstrom Copper, and that's a burning unit and cooling unit that grew right next to it.  The game has a bad habit of jamming stuff together, but it looked good -- so I kept them.  I believe that's Bipin's Crawler Crane over in the corner -- out of the "prop locker" on a 1x1.  You have to trick Editor to get it on a 1x1 -- but you can.  Just start with a 3x2 and cut it down to a 1x1 before saving.  The crane will overhang other objects, so be careful where you place it. Notice other filler lots to give the place better effect.


This is nothing more than a Maxis Small Burning Unit -- but look what you can do with filler lots!  I think those are BSC parking lots made for the rail yards.  And --  BSC parking over at Nokia.


Here's good ol' Broquard Cement -- but it's been tricked-out with custom filler lots, T-Wreck's IRM filler lots, and some NBVC Container Port lots used for their concrete, fences, and textured roadways.  Remember, NBVC's Modular Container Port is VERY multi-use.  Matter of fact, I use it as the base lot for most of my industrial and ALL of my seaport custom lots.  It's a KEEPER!

This has been a monumental effort -- probably TOO monumental -- several days in the making.  But I hope you find it to your liking. 
Now I'm REALLY gonna take a few days off and simply play the game.
But I look forward to your comments -- as always.

The Jade Bight 5:  Harlesiel --
Coming soon!


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