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About this City Journal

A scrapbook/photodump of my region that I've been playing on.

Entries in this City Journal




@Artimus: Avalon Air would totally serve you had there been an actual international airport... :P. Thanks a lot!

@raynev1: Thanks! I do use a money cheat since my focus is very sandbox-y in nature; I need the extra funds to experiment!

@APSMS, @waybig, @feyss, @kschmidt, @Ln X, @philforhockey51, @Urban Constanta, @Dreadnought, @korver, @takemethere: Thank you all so much for the comments!

Herring Point: The Really Pointy Peninsula City

Welcome to the beginning of the Azura Metropolitan Area, and the first of the two final "semi-catch up" updates. These contain cities that were largely built in the middle of last year but with some new development and style shifts. We'll be exploring the peninsula city of Herring Point today with Jericho and Avantasia as follow-up updates.

1. Region overview of the area. 


2. BEFORE: An old mosaic overview of the city of Herring Point. Population: 15,000


3. At the very tip of the peninsula is the Avalon Lookout. This lighthouse serves as the beacon for ships coming into Azura Bay. Note that this section is not part of the actual city of Herring Point.


4. A roundabout signifies the end of Herring Point Blvd. This portion is also part of Avalon Lookout.


5. Now we move into modern day Herring Point with a zoom 1 overview (left side is north)!


6. The north side is easily the most affluent area of the peninsula. Mansions and generally large homes are hidden behind winding roads and thick foliage. This particular chateau has graced this city for over 100 years.


7. Even somewhat major intersections around this area are dominated by residential.


8. Downtown Herring Point remains relatively unchanged. The little clearing towards the north is the future site of a sleek apartment complex.


9. Sustained growth has attracted the need for a new marina for the affluent. This little coastline section was leveled to make way for one.


10. Further south remains unchanged for the most part.


11. H.P. High is one of the best public high schools in all of Avalon.


12. Detailed suburb shot.


13. The sections of Herring Point closer to the mainland are grittier. Suburbs give away to industry and commercial. The Herring Point reservoir provides a freshwater source for the locals.


14. In the early days, this segment of A-515 stretched past the reservoir towards the waters of the north. In a twist of events, A-515 was shortened to this at-grade crossing to make way for new businesses that sprouted up in the area.


15. The Bywater Spring Hospital is the premier hospital in the area. Directly across the street is its disease research building.


16. Herring Point continues to grow! This section of forest was cleared to make way for a future suburban block.


17. Some new development along the primary road. The twin apartment towers in this shot were torn down after defects in construction were discovered. The much smaller pod apartments (from above) now reside in its place.


18. This new diamond interchange serves as exit #1 for A-515 south.


19. Jericho's northern business development creeps into Herring Point. Scales Plaza is a new set of office buildings that sits on top of an old parking lot. Landscaping renovations have been performed but plans for repaving are currently still in discussion.


20. A mosaic of the new A-515 corridor. You might notice something interesting about one particular pair of power pylons here - they appear FA 1.5 aligned! To be honest, I have no idea how this happened and have been relatively unsuccessful in replicating it exactly. If you're interested in what a similar example would look like in detail:




21. AFTER: Herring Point mosaic once again with some new updates. Population: 31,000 and growing.


And that's it for now!

For Next Time

We'll explore the neighboring city of Jericho - home to even more gross amounts of suburbia.




@Ln X: I really wish I didn't lose all of my really old screenshots of this region during its infancy in early 2011. Would've been great to see the transformation between then and now. Thanks!

@kschmidt, @takemethere, @feyss, @raynev1: Thanks a lot for your comments!

@nos.17: That feeling when only freight traffic uses your highways... traffic generations to the rescue :P! Thanks!

@Dreadnought: Much appreciated. Figured it would've been nice to have a more natural shoreline for the less urbanized areas. As an LA native I too love building sprawl but alas, skyscrapers have always been the "pinnacle" in terms of gameplay achievement for me, even if it throws aesthetics out the window (night shots notwithstanding).

@fdjw88: Thank you! 200,000 people is no easy feat. Once you've gotten on board the custom content train you'll be building crazy stuff in no time!

Cities of the Avalon Valley II: Attack of the Suburbs

It's time to explore the second half of the Arcadia Metropolitan Area, namely the cities of Arcadia, Harmon Lake, Sundry City, and Lansing. For the area overview, please check out the first screenshot on the previous entry.

We begin by viewing some of the less remarkable (and very incomplete) outlier cities:

1. This is Lansing. Population: 36,000


2. And this is Sundry City. Population: 64,000. Both are fairly unremarkable cities that serve as the surrounding communities for New Arcadia and Arcadia.


3. Harmon Lake is slightly more notable that the previous two by virtue of well... having a lake. Population: 46,500


4. You might find some middle class suburbs.


5. A LOT of middle class suburbs.


6. There's some occasional low wealth ones as well.


6. Harmon Lake is the other end of the spectrum. Very nice neighborhoods with marinas.


7. The other side of the lake is even better with small and large mansions alike.


8. Even the interchanges boast some considerable greenery, even if it's just wild grasses and flowers.


9. Main street through downtown Harmon Lake is a poplar tree lined feast.


10. On the opposite end, Sundry City's principal road runs parallel to an unsigned freeway. Along this corridor are fresh new office parks home to many different companies.


11. The MacroHard (R) Corporate campus was one of the first to be established alongside this corridor and dominates the block. Large gleaming midrises tower over acres of asphalt.


12. Now we finally enter (old) Arcadia. Population: 110,000


13. Arcadia is home to two major interchanges. This first windmill was one of the earliest constructed and crosses A-10 with Azura Loop 267. Safety was definitely considered when designing those level 2 flyovers (these are the old < NAM 32 depreceated flyovers).


14. This bridge crossing is part of the second major interchange that connects loop 267 and bypass A-310.


15. The Arcadia Exchange marks the boundaries between Lansing, Sundry City and Arcadia.


16. Arcadia Gas Power Generating Station provides a respectable amount of electricity for the city and surround communities.


17. Heavier industry also surrounds the plant. Future plans have been in motion to provide rail access for this area.


18. What is suburban life without wide avenues and some more office parks?


19. Arcadia Lake is a quiet little hillside lake that's popular with the local communities.


20. The largest K-12 school in the city services a majority of the area.


21. For those looking for higher education, the University of Avalon, Arcadia campus lies just a few blocks off loop 267.


22. Plenty of attractions exist closer to downtown, including a racetrack and a museum.


23. Arcadia's downtown core.


24. Of course, what would life in these cities be without more suburbs...


25. Endless suburbs!


26. Even gated communities get in the action.


27. Hopefully I haven't bored you all with these mind-numbing shots of endless suburbia. Here's one last overview for Arcadia at night.


That concludes the Arcadia Metropolitan Area! Mosaics will return in due time.

For Next Time

Catch-up is almost over. We'll be exploring the cities of Herring Point and Jericho, two more recent cities (started July 2015).




@Ln X: Thank you! Yeah, this was all mostly built before I discovered the existence of proper diagonal fillers and whatnot. I'll likely revisit some of my older areas in the future and give em a good ole facelift. As for multi-tile mosaics, I definitely have some planned for the future. Just need to get my photo editing skills up to snuff and they'll be good to go!

@Themistokles: I live for the region shots :D. Thanks for the comment!

@kschmidt: Thanks! I try to take advantage of space when filling up flat land.

@korver: Thanks a lot! Gotta hand it to blunder - his Cascadia controller is godly!

@philforhockey51, @Dreadnought, @raynev1: Thank you very much!

Cities of the Avalon Valley

Welcome to 2015 and the Avalon Valley! This section of the region is part of the Arcadia Metropolitan Region which covers several large cities alongside the Avalon River. As the region develops, this area will eventually be consumed by the even greater Avalon Metro Area. I started building this area towards the end of 2014 into mid 2015, so some of you may find screenshots here that you might've seen before. Without further ado...

1. An overview of the valley. The cities we'll be exploring today include Winchester & New Arcadia.



Winchester was built towards the latter end of 2014 into 2015. This city started off as a bedroom community for New Arcadia but eventually developed into a rather major hub itself. Starting from here I started experimenting with new styles from lurking SC4D and from those that I acquired during my return to ST.
Population: 150,000

2. An overview of the city of Winchester, from north looking south.


3. The administrative sector, which lies in the southwestern corner of the city. A curious mix of different government buildings and assorted services.


4. Busy industrial sector located fairly close to the administrative area. This was my first time playing around with any semblance of a rail network with these rail yards.


5. The largest park in the city, located fairly close to downtown.


6. The primary downtown core. My original goal was to have a largely medium-density dominated skyline. However, my skyscraper happy self always manages to find a way...


7. A closer look at downtown. Downtown is dominated by many different architectural styles. With few exceptions, all of the skyscrapers were grown without much pruning.


8. The secondary downtown core towards the northeast. Originally a suburban office center that gradually expanded into several high rises.


9a. BEFORE: The highlight of the city is the primary interchange in the heart of the city known colloquially as the 'Chester, which connects downtown with the A-10 and A-215 freeways. The original route was often congested and was in need of an upgrade.*
* to be honest, no one uses the road so I used traffic generators instead GG :rofl:


9b. AFTER: The upgrade was done with an increase in capacity and beautification of the surrounding area. Engineers also managed to devise an ingenious method to relocate the St.Paul Cathedral in order to make way for a new avenue underpass.


10. A bonus full mosaic of the interchange and surrounding area from the NAM showcase challenge a while back. A decorative W which symbolizes the city lies between the A-10 west to downtown connector loop. Despite all the improvements, planners and engineers alike once again forgot to build a north -> west connector... :no:


11. Another angle of the beast.


12. A small patch of nature between the A-215 northbound connector and A-10. A dirt path snakes under A-10 towards the St. Paul Cathedral.


13. A jumble of highway ramps on A-215. No one seems to be using the fast lane at all.


14. A new substation marks the first exit of the northbound spur route A-215.


New Arcadia

Due east of Winchester is the city of New Arcadia, the largest city of the Avalon Valley Metropolitan Area. Like Winchester, this city was developed largely in the early portions of 2015 where I started experimenting heavily with different styles. As such, you may find this city to be well... a mess. :P
Population: 460,000

15. An overview of the city.


16. A power corridor with an incorrectly aligned pylon. As long as it works right?


17. Industry along the highway near the local airport.


18. Some gridbusting suburban areas.


19. Projects located near downtown.


20. Stadium and convention center near downtown. I think I'm finally in a good state to attempt some re-lots of these in the future.


21. Interchanges abound! New Arcadia features several major highway junctions. This T-junction connects the A-10 with local bypass route A-310.


22. A-310 goes from southbound to eastbound at the Twister. An unsigned southbound route and a local avenue meet here as well. My ST return screenshot!


23a. BEFORE: Yet another junction that was met with upgrades. This short highway stub connects a downtown parkway with the A-310.


23b. AFTER: With NAM 33 Pre came L1 and wider flyover support. Some MMP and mast lighting improvements were also added to spice up the boring original. Eventually those lights will be torn down in favor of shorter ones.


24a. BEFORE: Downtown at night in its first iteration before I turned into a skyscraper nut:


24b. AFTER: Post-skyscraper frenzy. Regardless, being able to have such a sheer amount of unique BATs grow is certainly mesmerizing to watch. The night shots are definitely worth sacrificing some realism for that supertall concrete jungle.


25. A final daytime overview of New Arcadia.


For Next Time

We'll move eastwards towards the original city of Arcadia and surrounding suburban communities.



@raynev1, @Compdude787, @gviper, @kschmidt, @Golhbul, @ulisse: Appreciate the comments! Thank you very much! :D

@philforhockey51: Thanks! I think one more tile may be putting it too lightly; often times it's usually around 3-4 since I like throwing in those wide radius curves.

@sucram17: Thank you! Glad you found them inspiring.

@MissVanleider: Happy to see that even my MMP techniques can inspire people :). As for as the vegetation I use, the lighter green grass is Girafe's wonderful feather grass. The darker bushes should be these. I've also used his cattails, which are part of the mix shown. Also, I'm really digging your new profile picture. ;)

@takemethere: The latest draggable wide radius curves from the NAM were a godsend for these winding roads. Thanks a lot!

@Themistokles: Curves galore indeed! At least the seas don't have it quite as bad yet...apart from undersea cables, oil rigs and garbage of course. Thank you!

@Ln X: Thanks a bunch! Definitely got that dirt car park idea from one of your entries a while back. :thumb:

@Dreadnought: Thank you! there was actually one particular stretch of highway in the Rockies that inspired me to tackle these mountain roads.

The Gold Coast

We return to our tour with some ares (mostly) built during 2014 (and some screenshots from last year).

Behold, the Gold Coast! Name is *ahem*, totally not related to an area from one particular open world RPG from 2006...

1. It's called the Gold Coast because in the fall, the yellow aspen trees stand out distinctly from boats navigating the aptly named Bay of Gold.


2. Syrus Cove is a small little coastal community located towards the southern edge of the region.


3. The coastal neighborhoods are protected from the sea by rock formations that stretch across most of the coastline.


4. Further up the hills lies some affluent suburbs. The mayor of this city resides up here.


5. Downtown Syrus Cove is mostly home to office space. The main city square design competition was unfortunately held at the mayor's house during a birthday bash. Every council member was incapacitated to a degree. Unsurprisingly, the end result is this jumbled mess of a plaza. :P


6. The old lighthouse overlooking the cove is a popular spot for tourists. The few tourists that actually stop by of course.




8. Syrus Beach further north is a more popular spot, with long trails, a log cabin and a hot spring.


9. Mimilur Valley - nestled between the Titan Mountains and the Highwalls - is the workhorse of the Gold Coast, providing goods for local communities.


10. Local industry.


11. Twin TV masts tower over the valley.


12. Past the boring little town of Ibarra is the winding Gold Coast Highway.


13. A little beach spot. Logs from fallen trees line the coast.


14. The quiet little town of Overlook further up the road.


15. After crossing Overlook Pass. The power lines continue to follow the path of the road.


16. Welcome to the city of Victory Bay! This is the largest city in the Gold Coast region with a population of around 38,000.


17. A closer look at downtown.


18. Some surrounding industry.


19. The port of Victory.


20. The ZaZa hotel is a popular resort for tourists for its proximity to the ferry and downtown.


21. The most famous landmark in Victory Bay is the giant angel statue located on top of Victory Cliff.


22. This statue overlooks the bay and offers incredible views of the surrounding areas.


23. One last look at Victory Bay during springtime with this zoom 3 mosaic. (Right click -> view image, for more details)


For Next Time

We'll finally move into the 2015 and the Arcadia Metropolitan Region. This marks the beginning of the end for this "historical" tour, as I'll be going over areas that I've showcased starting last year.




@philforhockey51, @raynev1, @Compdude787, @takemethere, @gviper, @ulisse, @Urban Constanta: Thank you for the comments!

@kschmidt: Thanks! I didn't focus on plopping farms back then. As you said, it was quite laborious and creating sprawling farmland definitely wasn't my strong suite (it still isn't :P). I agree with the airport being a tad small - this was one of the first times that I utilized the AC prefab airport and I really wanted to watch it upgrade as the city grew.

From the Valley to the Sea

Taking a small break from the historical tour, we stop at the gateway between the Sylon Valley and the Gold Coast: the Titan Mountains.

1. Just a few km up from the small mountain town of Onepa, the valley gets narrower. A tiny village marks the foothill of the looming Typherus Peak.


2. This small gas station marks the beginning of the ascent into the mountains. Travelers are advised to refuel here before proceeding into the mountains, despite the relatively short trip.


3. Typherus Pass winds alongside its namesake mountain. Drifters love this section but there have been more than a few shares of fatalities. Perhaps it's time to install some guardrails along the curves?


4. Those looking for a little break stop at this overlook midway up.


5. Looking back downhill can be quite the treat, especially during the fall months. The power pylons however dampen the viewing experience somewhat.


6. Yet another fork in the road.


7. Those wanting to continue straight have a lot of work cut out for them...


8. Making the turn leads to civilization once again!


9. Those that decide to make a right turn again will get another adventure.


10. A local recycling center with a couple of businesses occupies the canyon between the two roads.


11. Another small town further up the highway.


12. As the mountains open up, farms can once again be seen.


13. An overview shot.




The southern coast is now in sight!


Oh boy, it's been a reeeeeeally long while. Apologies for the lack of updates, but I got really sucked into creating parking lots of all things. :P  Got my fingers crossed that there won't be such a gap for next time.


@takemethere: Thanks! I think the region shots are probably on the top of my list of favorite things about SC4. Nothing speaks to me more than seeing that view of a sprawling metropolis, and the sheer scale is something that I definitely don't get with other city builder out there.

@Ln X: Thank you! Those days of getting those stage 15 buildings surely defined my experience.

@DavidDHetzel, @MilitantRadical, @gviper, @Compdude787: Thanks for the comments!

@kschmidt: I did have a slope mod, but I configured it so it was less restrictive at first. At the same time, I also wasn't very good with public transportation or rail networks which is why you didn't see much of it there.

To the Southern End We Go!

During sometime in 2013, I had this terrific idea of tacking on an entire region onto my current one, having not even gotten close to finishing. And thus, the southern half, Avalon, was born.

We start our tour with the Sylon Valley/Sylon Lake County, located in the southwestern corner of the region.



2. Immediately south of Sylon Lake City is the Sylon River Valley, which is home to sprawling acres of farms. These farmers grow practically everything.


3. Wildflowers, tobacco and even pills. Pills. My first foray with the then brand new draggable FA roads from NAM 31 (?)


4. Moving closer to the suburbs. I've finally begun to get comfortable with the RHW at this time, after using MHW for practically an eternity.


5. A small creek passes under the main freeway.


6. The small industrial town of Riverville, due east of Sylon Lake City.


7. Moving further up the hills from Riverville is the small town of Onepa, under the shadow of the Titan mountain range.


8. The town center...


9. ...and surrounding residential areas.


10. Despite the steep and hilly terrain, there are small pockets of fairly flat land where farmers have settled in.




Moving into the city! Yellowrock is the most prominent suburb of Sylon Lake City, located at the foothill of the Titan mountain range.

12. Following the A-15 route from A-305 junction into the approach towards Sylon Lake City.


13. My first dosage of MMP work and power lines. Also some people really have too much time on their hands to come and TP a house this far out.


14. The suburban center of Yellowrock.




Welcome to Sylon Lake City! I was in the process of performing some transformation to the city somewhat recently. Unfortunately the city is prop poxed and thus my efforts were halted.

16. The A-15 running through downtown.


17. A snapshot of Sylon airport, which services the surrounding region.


18. There isn't really much else here to write home about, so here's a quick overview of the city.


19. A nighttime shot.


20. Finally have a bonus almost 4-tile composite image that I made sometime last year:


Next time we'll move on to explore the Southeastern coastline!



Ln X, kelistmac, raynev1: Thanks for the comments! I still got a long way to go if I'm going to even get close to finishing this region.

blunder: Thank you! Yeah, the top half of the map remains a mystery to me still. I tried browsing google maps for some semblance of a coastline that resembled it but got nothing. Hopefully I'll figure it out one day. :P

Welcome to Northeast Onyx! Or What's Left...

Today I'm going to show you some snapshots from the first major portion of Onyx that I built, circa early 2011-2012. All of these tiles maintain most of their layouts from that time period, and the only major difference is the switch from an old tree controller to the amazing Cascadia Tree Controller.

You may be wondering why there's a big empty tile where Caspian used to be. Caspian was actually the first tile that I began on, but a couple years back I carelessly obliterated it. And the one directly to the west of it. Whoops.


First we begin by taking a quick peek at the hilly city of Gouldwood. Gouldwood boasts some fairly large and steep hills, but that hasn't stopped the people from building neighborhoods all over it. This particular area was rebuilt slightly in 2013 to take advantage of  the awesome new draggable smooth curves that came with NAM 31.


Moving on from Gouldwood, we visit the largely suburban town of Pacific Woods, which is nestled deeper in the Onyx Valley. Parts of this town were rebuilt in 2013 when I first jumped ship from Maxis highways to RHW and Project Symphony.


Some early farms that I attempted after going on a downloading spree. Definitely not the greatest looking ones, if I say so myself. At least they looked kinda nice in the region view!


Solis City is our next stop. This town lies in the shadow of the tallest mountain peak in the region. Parts of it were rebuilt in 2013 to take advantage of the new NAM as usual.


Some VERY early suburbs, when all I had was stock Maxis and a few of these custom houses.


Now we enter the metropolis of Esryia. This city was conceived when I first discovered CAM, and wanted to get a lot of stage 15 buildings. It did conflict with my original design goal though! At one point the city was intended to have a smooth density transition from skyscraper to suburbs, but that quickly went out the window. Looking back on it now, boy did it turn out ugly!


I also tried to create a historical site near the city. It was going to be a perfect highlight: a castle on top of a hill, a flowing stream and rolling vineyards. I guess it could've used some work.


Then again, the true highlight of the massive cities are its nightlights. Just check out the colors coming from the heart of Xyper!


Finally, we move towards the beaches at Tempest Bay. I had a bunch of cool waterfront ideas at the time, but it pretty much just ended in seaports and marinas. Still, they were probably more aesthetically pleasing than my early beach attempts.



Sometime further down this year, I'm going to attempt a full rebuild on this area. RIP population count. :P

Next Time:

We'll move forward into mid-2012 to 2013, which includes some of western Onyx, and the beginnings of the very southern portion of the Avalon region.


The Region

Hello everyone! Welcome to Onyx-Avalon, a massive region that I've been building on and off since early 2011. This journal will mostly serve as a scrapbook/photodump of the random things I build within.

The first several entries of this journal are dedicated to a sort of "historical" look on my region, and the cities I've built along the way. I haven't touched some of the older city layouts in years, so it'll be an interesting way to see my changing building style, and adapting to the new ideas that I've stolen learned from this past year. After the introductory stuff the fun truly begins, and you'll see every facet of my developing region.

Without further ado...


It wasn't always called Onyx-Avalon. A long time ago, the region was simply called Onyx. Originally the region started out as a project on blade2k5's Somewhere in the World #6. Then, after developing a good chunk of the region, I craved expansion. With a little bit of terraforming and tweaking, I appended Somewhere in the World #7. The result was this 10x19 large tile monstrosity:



Tune in tomorrow where I explore the first portion of the region that I started building back in 2011.


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