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About this City Journal

 A city journal that shows a variety of rural and urban scenes- high quality stuff.

Entries in this City Journal

The British Sausage

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Replies:

Namiko: Thanks a lot!

Prophet42: Those would be the backalley / centre-of-the-city-block pictures- I'm glad you get great ideas for your cities.

Akallan: I will be posting the odd montage video every two months or so...

JP Schriefer: Thanks! Also, one can never go wrong with Ennio Morricone.

Wallibuk: Thanks! The buildings are a mixture of American, European and British buildings.

Urban Constanta: Cheers!

 

Entry 11: Back to Rural Again!

So as promised here are some more rural scenes. I managed to find a diagonal version of Diggis river set and combined with the orthogonal set makes for some great-looking small rivers!

 

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The idea is a stream cutting through the fields, with some areas being fenced off to create wildlife habitats.

 

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Combined with orthogonal corners and diagonal corners, creating a river becomes an exercise in grid-busting.

 

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The path splits in two... One branches off towards a small tourist spot.

 

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Another thing I'm working on is wild areas with a medium saturation of MMPs. It's not 100% saturation and it ain't a light saturation either... Medium!

 

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I always enjoy painting in MMP gravel paths.

 

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At first I was just planning on creating MMP fields, but throwing in a river adds a bit of much needed variety.

 

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Full-sized image can be found here- http://imagizer.imageshack.us/a/img923/1006/x8Hb1c.jpg

 

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One of my favourite scenes to create is the rail siding in the middle of the countryside.

 

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I also throw in some SPAM fence sets in as well- brown, white and barbed wire.

 

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And a bit above the bridge is the field which hugs around the river's edge...

 

11.

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Using Heblem's tropical grass I get this dark-green field which looks decent. Another <small> addition is a dirt-lined perimeter around some fields.

 

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The petrol station faces out into the sea of dark green.

 

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As mentioned earlier the tourist spot is this small gazebo by the river.

 

15.

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Now my plans for this river is that it will run across the northeast corner of the city tile. LARGE VERSION: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/a/img924/772/YZVYC7.jpg

 

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And here is the picture of the playground. I posted this several days ago but here is the all-dolled-up version!

 

Now then, the next entry will be something similar- more rural scenes.

Enjoy!

 

Lastly- WHY doesn't this site properly show mosaics?

 

The British Sausage

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Replies:

Dukestoner: :yes:

_Michael: Nothing has really changed... Except I have a few more useful toys at my disposal: mass plopping of residential and buildings with transparent ground textures.

kelistmac: Yeah, I create a general urban style which is part USA, part European and part UK.

Abrams124: I am. *:)

Simmer2: Cheers!

Tyberius06: New start, new CJ- thanks for your comment.

Akallan: It's all about seamless transitions and the right ground textures.

feyss: Thanks! I never thought of placing that diagonal warehouse on the side of Bipin's Grunge Industrial road corner- until now.

 

 

Entry 10 - A Video Montage of Pololomia

And now I present one of the most realistic-looking SC4 videos you will ever see on Youtube. I recommend cinema mode - 1080p for best quality.

 

 

And as a bonus some more pictures too!

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Another small city block I've finished- the one surrounded by the posh fences.

 

2.

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The ortho/diagonal mix!

 

3.

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The old city buildings meet the new ones.

 

4.

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Variations of building density and variations of space/fillers.

 

5.

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It's all about the space behind buildings...

 

6.

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Infilling city blocks can be a very satisfying thing to do...

 

Next weekend- a rural update.

 

The British Sausage

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Replies:

Akallan: Thank you! Anyway the URS is what I wanted from SC4 a year or two ago; 2016 had some great stuff but I can now go even further than that with residential plopping and creating lots with transparent tiles with buildings upon them.

Prophet42: Cheers! It's getting easier and easier to detail city areas and give them a certain character to them.

BC Canuck: Steal those ideas! If you're wondering the British Sausage is a famous joke from the British TV series Yes Minister.

tariely: Oh yeah!

Michelle Yukimura: I go to GIMP and use the horizontal flip tool.

sejr99999: Thanks! And good luck with your search.

metarvo: Yeah the diagonals were a give-away; I am a madman when it comes to creating seamless diagonals and removing jagged texture edges on roads.

kelistmac: Make some - ahem! - contributions for the mayor and that house is yours.

feyss: Thanks!

 

Entry 9: Highlights from Pololomia

In this entry there are some more pictures from Pololomia. I think I can get the whole city tile done by Christmas holiday time.

Thanks a lot for the comments- it is good to be back.

Anyway, enjoy the pictures and the enjoy the weekend.

 

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The British Sausage

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Replies:

SC4L0ver: Thanks! The woodland was an idea that came to me after travelling along the A66 west- random clumps of woodland in the field or on the field's perimeter.

Prophet42: I would say that wild meadow scenery would work well for unused green areas inside of cities.

kelistmac: The prop pox was a bummer but it was a chance to carve the right suburban/rural outline for the city. So it was a net positive.

Akallan: The British Sausage is simply a pseudonym for Ln X- that's why the style is so similar. What happened was I lost everything (computer problems, think blue screen of death) and Imageshack acted up- something about payment and accessing the account. Very embarrassing! So I was left with a CJ with no pictures and vacant image links. So I decided for a fresh start: new account, rebuilt plugins, new username, new CJ, etc.

 

 

Entry 8: Scenes from the City

Some of these pictures feature new areas, some are different shots of older areas. And now these pictures come with a little photoshop sparkle. In any case enjoy them!

 

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Going full on diagonal!

 

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4.

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Plop in some texture tiles to make those overhanging buildings blend in!

 

5.

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6.

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MMP playground.

 

7.

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One of Pololomia's major roundabouts.

 

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It's all about the areas behind buildings...

 

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Next week will bring another update, but this one will have more rural scenes. See you then.

 

The British Sausage

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Replies:

Akallan: Thanks a lot for your comment!

 

Entry 7: Dealing With Prop Pox

So all of those great pictures and scenes you saw in the previous have been lost. The reason why is that a week ago Pololomia suffered from Prop Pox. So I had to use an old back-up which is prop pox free- unfortunately it was dated three weeks ago. I haven't added too much in those three weeks, but still... All of those MMP scenes are gone. Oh well...

But it did give me a chance to redo the outskirts of Pololomia and I believe I have found a better layout!

Anyway enjoy the pictures!

 

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Let's start off with a MEGA mosaic! Link to see the big version- https://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/147x907q90/922/Eq1rSx.png

 

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More sneak peaks of the city centre.

 

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And here is the new layout- look to the top of the picture and the outskirts look WAY better as they have now become less dense and there is more green space between them. Note some of these spaces have now been filled in with MMPs.

 

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And now some more MMP goodiness!

 

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I redid the FA neighbourhood and made it strictly attached to the road- there are no diagonal streets shooting off.

 

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When I went to the Lake District a week ago, I was driving along the A66 and I noticed the layout of the trees amongst the fields: lines of trees for field perimetres, small clumps of woodland in the centre of fields, grassy areas marking the perimeter of a field, etc.

 

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This got me thinking about how I could add woodland in the middle of my large MMP fields...

 

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A new development in my MMP farm/rural quest- wild meadows!

 

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Now THIS is what the rural/urban perimeter of Pololomia is going to look like- the grid meets organic MMPs, diagonal roads and FA roads!

 

There will be another update next week!

The British Sausage

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Replies:

_Michael: Thanks! I spend a lot of my time expanding the city based on density transitions: high to medium, medium to low, low to medium, etc.

kschmidt: Diagonals zones coming off FA roads was done to a limited extent by someone else- they however zones diagonal houses on an FA road but I took a perpendicular approach. FrankU's Dutch Parks are highly versatile and can provide posh fencing, low density tree fillers and cool looking paths. The horse race is a bit small and the diagonal downtown section has a little too much repetition but... It passes muster! I do love slotting in railyards into my industry.

kelistmac: Cheers! I always go for large and gridbusting where possible- it's even possible to gridbust using strictly orthogonal streets and roads.

Simmer2: Thank you! Your LOTs and BATs go some way to filling in my railways, industrial zones and rural areas.

 

Entry 6- Creating Realistic Rural Settings

Building urban areas is one speciality of mine and I do love industrial areas, but where I flourish in is with rural areas. Using MMPs I can create an organic look to a grid system of fields, or do some immense grid-busting. Listen up as I reveal some methods for creating highly realistic rural areas.

 

1.

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The 101 of Realistic Rural Scenes is rural/urban transitions and vice versa.

 

2.

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You will need fences bordering the fields, woodland filler tiles (or MMP trees), low density areas and of course the grunge roads found in Bipin's Industrial Essentials help too!

 

3.

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The city border can be all sorts: housing, light industry, a school, a large facility, a utility complex, etc. What matters though is there being a clear division between where the urban ends and the rural begins.

 

4.

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One method is mixing in fields with RCI zones. So when you move to the city outskirts there are fields either penetrating into the city area or there are fields surrounded by city blocks, etc.

 

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The other crucial thing to consider is SPACE.

 

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The smallest field needs to be at a minimum approximately 200 metres wide. Like the field above its width is 12 tiles across- or 192m.

 

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In the North of Pololomia I mixed in fields with industrial blocks. This can make building to the grid very interesting and thus rather Americanized. Remember: SPACE, fillers and clear rural/urban divisions.

 

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It's perfectly normal to have an industrial estate or business park to suddenly emerge from the countryside and farmland. But these kind of areas often have a lot of green space, trees and again SPACE.

 

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Rural/urban transitions come in all shapes and sizes. For instance the railway marks the separation between an outer city suburb and the countryside.

 

10.

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In the future I will show the full area and you will appreciate the layout, size and detail involved. In these teaser pics though and in this one we have a bit of MMP gridbusting. Gravel/tarmac MMPs can go in any direction, as can walls and flora- EXPLOIT THIS to the max!

 

11.

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The next big challenge of rural/countryside scenes are the fields themselves. DO NOT use plopped field/crop lots. These have little to no variation and so make the grid stand out like a sore thumb. Because of the fields variation/(organic irregularity) your eyes are drawn to the fields, thus rendering the orthogonal roads less obvious and intrusive.

 

12.

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But MMP fields -- and I have taken great inspiration and artistic license from Ln X here -- make fields realistic. Why? Fields are organic and plants are sprouting in a chaotic fashion. Laying down MMPs emulates this chaotic distribution and so the entire field becomes this large painting- subtle variation of one theme.

 

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I will explain more about MMPing fields in a future entry- but the basic process is usually mixing two flora MMPs together to create a thick, detailed look.

 

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MMPs can also extend lots which seem very confined. The industrial buildings in the centre have more presence because of the dirt truck stop. This is just one small example of how texture MMPs and vehicle MMPs can produce incredibly realistic scenes with only three or four MMPs being used.

 

15.

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Using Ilive's Reader and the Lot Editor, 1x1 residential buildings can be changed into parks with no base texture.

 

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I'm only just beginning to explore this technique but the results produce astonishing off-the-grid images. The buildings are surrounded by MMPs which create the illusion of a large lot, but the reality is this- these are 1x1 park tiles which have a house in the centre and a transparent texture. For the longest time I have always wanted to do something like the above and finally my dreams are coming true!

 

 

Well... That wraps up this entry.

And next week another entry.

Stay tuned.

 

 

The British Sausage

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Replies:

First of all I just want to say thank you to SC4L0ver, frdrcklim, nycsc4, Prophet42, kelistmac, T Wrecks, airman15 and Whte_rbt for their comments. I replied to most of them and I want to say thanks to T Wrecks for exploring my method of plopping residential some more.

 

Entry 5: Another Update on Pololomia

Here are twelve more pictures of Pololomia, I've considerably expanded the city and now I'm working on the border between the city and the countryside.

 

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And here is Pololomia so far. Right now I am filling in the parts of the city centre which aren't complete, then I'm going to work some more on the industrial area to the left and then create some rural areas along the left side of this picture.

 

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More grid-busting.

 

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Suburban area close to the countryside.

 

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The secret with suburbs is offsetting some sides of the suburban block with a tile or two (or more) of fillers. It's very easy to zone everything to the main road or street, but having a main road with only one (or no) side of residential can look more realistic.

 

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Now we go to the city centre.

 

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Loving Mattb325's new buildings- to the left is his urban school and in the centre is his First Federal Bank building.

 

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In the centre of the picture is this school.

 

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Using fillers I expanded the size of the school grounds and made it far more distinctive: a perimeter fence, car park, greenhouses, etc...

 

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Squeezing out every last drop from FrankU's Dutch Parks!

 

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The criss-crossing railways divide up the city.

 

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I have changed parts of the industrial area to the northwest. Gone is the garbage dump and in its place rail sidings and a grain processing factory!

 

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Making the most of Simmer2's rail sidings.

 

 

The next update will probably be more rural as I move into MMP work and more organic, grid-busting sights. So stay tuned for that next weekend!

The British Sausage

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Replies:

kschmidt: No I don't have the No Abandonment Mod. I have found a way to plop in LARGE amounts of residential without triggering abandonment of the plopped residential buildings. Thanks for your comment.

IL.: Size always matters... For a CJ... Ahem.

Talla 2XLC: Thanks for your comment!

Terring: Thank you!

TekindusT: Cheers! Green and wide I say!

kim026: Thanks!

Prophet42: Thank you! Everything I have shown has been done without using the Lot Editor. All it takes is the right BATs, LOTs and dependencies.

 

 

Entry 4: Plobbable Residential Abandonment Problem now Solved!

We are in for a treat today folks! I believe I have stumbled across a workaround which prevents plopped residential buildings (R$, R$$ and R$$$) from becoming abandoned.

 

1.

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Here is the area I will be infilling- to the left of the road going northwards.

 

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Step 1: zone out a plot which matches the size of the residential lot to be plopped, in this case 3x3.

 

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Step 2: Pick -- using the BuildingPlop cheat -- a residential lot. I have picked CP_VictorianSmallRes$$_12_Decid and from that the CP_R$$5_3x3_VictorianRow_12Hses. The lot is circled in red and looks good in medium density areas.

 

4.

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Step 3: Let residential buildings grow, make sure every one of these lots matches the size of our plopped residential lot. In this case 3x3. REMEMBER: this step is the MOST important of them all!!!

 

5.

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Step 4: Pick the residential lot from the BuildingPlop cheat list and plop in the lot exactly upon the 3x3 plots. Press cheetah speed, watch the months go by and voila! No No Job Zot and no abandonment! As long as there is a residential lot which is grown and matches the lot size of the residential lot you wish to use- your plopped residential lot will not become abandoned.

 

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And that's it! Now the next step is to complete this area and one thing with this particular housing lot are the street tile textures emerging from the middle of the lot. I create false intersections using the elevated rail pieces: elevated rail connected to elevated rail over street. Demolish the elevated rail section and what is left behind is a 1x1 street segment which isn't rounded.

 

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Looks better with those false intersections doesn't it? Lastly we pretty up the area to the left and add some W2W shops plus carparking on top to finish off this city block.

 

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It's a very simple layout which works thanks to the fabulous lotting and batting of the content creators.

 

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Here are some examples of residential plopping in action.

 

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So to conclude: no more waiting around for the residential buildings you want, no more abandonment of plopped residential buildings AND a chance to use every residential building listed in the BuildingPlop menu.

Please let me know in the comments whether you are able to replicate (copy) this in your cities.

Please also note that if abandonment occurs due to low desirability, traffic noise, crime, pollution, garbage or radiation then I suspect these plopped residential buildings will remain abandoned even if desirability improves. Whereas normal zoned residential buildings which are abandoned can become reoccupied again.

One unknown is how plopped RCI will react on a massive scale or on a ubiquitous scale. I would say at least a third of my residential buildings in Pololomia are plopped and my plopped commercial and industrial buildings have not been adversely effected.

So your feedback will be most useful!

Thanks, and if this cheat works for you then your whole SC4 gaming experience is about to be RADICALLY CHANGED!

Enjoy!!!

The British Sausage

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Replies:

TowerDude: Some entries will have commentaries as I explain certain key things.

nos. 17: The apple doesn't fall far from the tree... *;) Anyway, thanks for your comment!

Talla 2XLC: Just keeping a low profile and focusing on the cities. And yes I use the building plop cheat extensively in my cities.

sucram17: Thank you very much!

kscmidt: Virtually every RCI building has been plopped- there is a trick to get residential buildings plopped without them becoming abandoned.

IL.: Thank you!

Abrams124: Cheers! And I will keep going...

 

 

Entry 3: There Will Be Diagonals!

I have developed Pololomia considerably and I am finding it very easy to expand the city and infill areas. So without further adieu here are 16 more pictures to feast your eyes on!

 

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Here is Pololomia so far.

 

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I am gradually stitching together the various areas.

 

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Piece by piece...

 

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Diagonal by diagonal.

 

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This area came out something special...

 

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I'm now going to start developing the outskirts and the rural/urban city borders.

 

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MMPs are love. MMPs are life.

 

Next week there will be another update from Pololomia. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

The British Sausage

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Replies:

Urban Constanta: Thank you!

Odainsaker: I didn't know that- so thanks for that brief slice of urban history. I basically went for a style that is green, takes up space and has paths/parks running through these neighbourhoods.

RandyE: It is harder to build extensively with diagonals because there are fewer buildings to use, but I have worked out ways of creating diagonal city blocks. As for the industry and commerce a lot of that style you were talking must be because I used Mattb325's buildings which are spacey, have green spaces and look rather modern.

kschmidt: It means a lot of use of the "Make Historical" button! I used the No Maxis buildings mod and I have in my head a list of buildings which suit various themes. The "standard" you were talking about is actually growable for the green suburbs.

licoricebomb: The horses can be found here- http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=2862.

 

Entry 2: Developing the City of Pololomia

In this entry I show you the current state of Pololomia and finished areas. This is a large city tile I'm working on and one which is a basic template for the style I go for when playing SC4. Enjoy!

 

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So this is the city of Pololomia as it stands. In the southwest corner is the city centre, then the city fans outwards and decreases in density...

 

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The W2W buildings I have used are mainly Jasoncw, NoFunk and Goofyguytpa creations which can be found on the STEX.

 

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While I have found that Mattb325's creations are great for filling in city blocks which aren't necessarily W2W.

 

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The W2W Buddhist temple is zero7's Z7 Temple and Stupa.

 

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Every city block I create has parking in the middle, back alleys or gardens at the back which connect together. It's easy to place buildings down but it is a lot harder connecting them together- so I use car parking, trees, parks and other fillers to make each city block unique. Also MMPs are useful too for adding variety to blank texture tiles!

 

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An even trickier thing to pull off is density transitions. Ideally in the centre of cities and the inner city area the buildings are at least several floors high with higher buildings dotted around. But in mid-rise areas this can be anywhere between 10 to 4 floors high with the occasional tower block. While for low-rise areas it can be anywhere from ground floor height to four floors high.

 

7.

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The secret to diagonal city building is hiding the jagged square edges of the textures. In this picture I have hidden/disguised most of the jagged square edges so that it all blends together. SFBT Diagonal Fillers and Simcoug's Diagonal Tenements are some of my preferred methods for building diagonally.

 

8.

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And now back to the inner city area and this time railways. Now railways really need to separate and divide a city. So that means walls, tunnels and bridges. Having road crossings on a railway in an inner city area is not very common. So in this picture I used FLUPS to really emphasise the railway splitting up the city, lastly every bit of the railway is bordered with fences and walls.

 

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Little roundabouts can be a great cosmetic addon or architectural addon even if it's a little unrealistic. Also tight FLUPs in urban areas are some of the coolest things this game has to offer.

 

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Roundabouts can also prove to be a useful means of separating streets and SAM streets...

 

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In this neighbourhood I used KingOfSimCity's Maxis Mansion Overhaul mod which is incredibly cool stuff. Large lots, green areas and those FA tennis courts!

 

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But it's also important to break up a themed area with other fillers: for instance WorkingManProductions Allotment set and FrankU's parks (tree fillers).

 

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The next entry will show further development from Pololomia and more finished city scenes. I think this city will take four or five weeks to finish. In the north and east I want to create rural areas and farmland and THAT is the trickiest transition of them all - urban to rural!

So see you then!

And thanks a lot for your comments!

 

 

The British Sausage

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Welcome to The URS!

What is The URS?

Well...

 

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The URS stands for Urban/Rural/Scenic.

 

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This CJ will cover all sorts.

 

3.

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Lush, green suburbs...

 

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With rich details and some nice patterns.

 

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Commercial areas and civic complexes...

 

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With some realistic spacing and division of areas.

 

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Diagonals are covered too!

 

8.

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And I throw in all kinds of fillers to make areas look interesting.

 

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And what about the urban, W2W and inner city areas?

 

10.

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No problem!

 

11.

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But we are forgetting industry!

 

12.

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And of course the MMPs!

 

13.

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Rougher, low-wealth and rundown areas are also covered in The URS.

 

14.

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Old content meets new content. You will see old plugins effortlessly fit in with new content, new mods and new fillers.

 

15.

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And of course every area and every city will have its own feeling to it.

 

So that's The URS in a nutshell.

This month and the next I am working on a city tile. After that I'll be specialising in a particular area: farms, industry, forestry, suburbs, seaports, power plants, etc...

There will be weekly updates.

So... See you around and I hope you have enjoyed these pictures.

 

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Season's Greetings!

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Thank You for the Continued Support!

Simtropolis relies mainly on member donations to continue operating. Without your support, we just would not be able to be entering our 15th year online!  You've really help make this a great community.

But we still need your support to stay online. If you're able to, please consider a donation to help us stay up and running, so that we can help keep bringing SimCity players together to share our creations.

Make a Donation, Get a Gift!

Expand your city with the best from the Simtropolis Echange.
Make a donation and get one or all three discs today!

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By way of a "Thank You" gift, we'd like to send you our STEX Collector's DVD. It's some of the best buildings, lots, maps and mods collected for you over the years. Check out the STEX Collections for more info.

Each donation helps keep Simtropolis online, open and free!

Thank you for reading and enjoy the site!

More About STEX Collections