CSGdesign's NATURAL GROWTH

The stories of members' cities. From humble beginnings to galactic dominations!

CSGdesign's NATURAL GROWTH

Postby CSGdesign » March 21st, 2010, 1:54 am

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You are NOT the mayor any more...


Custom Content built for this CJ includes:
CSGdesign's Basic Concrete Seawall
CSGdesign's Basic Ferry Pontoon
CSGdesign's Small School House
CSGdesign's Cleared Earth Set v1
CSGdesign's Exposed Bauxite Set v1
CSGdesign's Chainlink Fence Set v1

(Please note these are all available only on the CSGfx.)

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Time Lapse animation
of city from start till currently (the graphic will be refined once I get some time).



IMPORTANT NOTE: This is NOT a remodelling of the actual city Boston.
This is a completely fictional city based on terrain of Boston only. I just named it Boston cuz it was sitting on that region and at the time of starting this city I had no intention to CJ it, so I didn't put any imagination into the game. Get over it. :P
This CJ is about free development, not controlled and planned development (like copying an existing city, for example).


This Journal depicts the natural development of a city, as dictated to you by your Sims and natural Sim development in a free-market.

Be warned - this is a very time-consuming method of development but the end results are natural and rewarding if realism is what you want in your region. If a quick path to grand sky-scrapers and grids is what you want, then this is probably not the best region development strategy available to you.

This method of city development has only a few key rules to follow:
1) Don't plan ahead any more than generally, and in a role-playing state of mind.
For example, you can plan that nice cleared area over on that shore might make a good new settlement, or that the hill off to the north might be a lovely place to build a quarry because it's rich in Bauxite, or this dense patch of woodlands here won't be cleared because the SimNation Government has declared it is a natural resource, so Sims must build around it, and so on. But don't plan to the level of "that peninsular will be my new industrial zone, from there to there" or "I'll put my airport over there, and some harbours in here, and a big seawall all the way along this shore, with low-density covering that quarter of the map". That's too over-view. You have to think down several levels - right down to a small-scale two-or-three-block development. Smaller even. Think as small-picture as you can with every step you take, and FORGET about what else is around that area.
2) Do EVERY move as though you were a developer, not a mayor.
Mayors might want everything all pretty and nice and organised and grand, but at the end of the day it is the developpers and contractors that do the work, and they don't do a damn thing unless it's cost-effective. Even though your coffers are paying for everything, things must be as cheaply done as possible so that the developpers can make the biggest coin out of it.
3) Everything starts off small. And grows as demand requires.
This means that a path from the CBD to the other CBD two regions away starts as a tiny winding street (or even a dirt track) and then as demand requires, it gets upgraded at intersections, then entire stretches until it's a road. Then as demand out-grows that, it becomes an avenue, and eventually is either upgraded or completely bypassed by a massive network of highways and rails. River crossings start off as pedestrian ferries, then if the river isn't too wide a street bridge, then a road bridge next to that or a bit upriver. Everything is done only as demand requires it, and with absolutely no "but in the future I'll want a huge highway crossing here" in mind. How often in your local town do you see a huge dual-carriage bridge go over a creek because in 50 years the roads will require it?? Never I'll bet - things are always upgraded as required, or LOOOONG overdue.
4) Keep a realistic balance of Sims in your region.
Don't try to keep all your sims super-educated and super-healthy. Let large swathes of suburbs sit in squalor and even have rolling black-outs from time to time until you get around to upgrading that pesky Deisel Generator to something a bit larger. If you have a lot of low-wealth sims then your city will grow rapidly and randomly and dirty, just like the real deal. Then developpers can come in and tidy up that nice little coastal out-cropping and sit some parks in it, offset by the cost of selling off the housing areas to medium-density residentials.
5) Work only small amounts at a time in any one map or area.
Then save and move on to another area, and keep doing that, working your region bit by bit, then coming back and re-working it. This not only keeps things interesting because you've got such a massive area to play with, but allows the entire area to grow and develop together, maintaining a realistic development to the region.

If you follow those ideas when you're developing a region, then it should look very natural and random and realistic pretty fast, and keep it no matter how you develop later on (unless you abandon the technique and bulldoze whole areas and rezone and start again, of course).

Below is a few visual indicators of my own city - Boston.
The region is Boston v2 from STEX - a very nice and very large natural map. You will need to populate each region with trees before you can build your city but that's easy with God Mode.

Below is a good cross-section of how I build using the "Natural Growth" technique.

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My city region is still only small-town, but it has grown so much in 80 years.
The most time-consuming aspect of this type of city development is ensuring that the growth has a knock-on effect. Which is when one out-lying region becomes a bit more developped, the next most out-lying region that was previously untouched wilderness needs to have a road wind it's way through it and some grazing properties and coastal communities develop.

Mods used - please visit THIS ENTRY for a complete list, including links to each of them.

My city region now covers 76 Largest Possible Maps, which is 76% the available area to me, and is still quite sparsely populated, relatively speaking.
Total population of R1,052,568 / C409,577 / I280,309.
It has been produced largely without any mods except those listed above, and without any cheats at all.
Jointly (not counting unstarted city regions) I have excess funds of $85,154,030, the largest single city excess funds is the north-eastern most city "Altroy Cove, with $23,287,035 excess funds.
All cities have excess and I can't spend it fast enough without getting unrealistic. I have found that by decreasing taxes it doesn't have a very noticeable effect on RCI (it's always high) but it reduces income significantly, so in this way I'm balancing out my funds so that the profits are increasing only moderately, rather than stupendously.

Growth of my city region is captured regularly and is being compiled into growing layers of screenshots, which I have used to date to create a time-lapse animation (see above in this entry), and which will be used in other animations and movies as time goes on.


Current Region Views:

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CLICK THE BELOW LINKS TO VIEW ENTIRE REGION AT FULL SIZE:

Game-year 1980
(Satellite View) 1980 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 1.11mb
(Transportation Map) 1980 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 653kb

Game-year 1981
(Satellite View) 1981 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 958kb
(Transportation Map) 1981 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 543kb

Game-year 1982
(Satellite View) 1982 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 1.23mb
(Transportation Map) 1982 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 813kb

Game-year 1983
(Satellite View) 1983 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 1.23mb
(Transportation Map) 1983 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 820kb

Game-year 1984
(Satellite View) 1984 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 1.23mb
(Transportation Map) 1984 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 824kb

Game-year 1985
(Satellite View) 1984 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 1.25mb
(Transportation Map) 1984 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 929kb

Game-year 1985
(Satellite View) 1985 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 1.25mb
(Transportation Map) 1985 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 929kb

Game-year 1986
(Satellite View) 1986 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 1.25mb
(Transportation Map) 1986 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 937kb

Game-year 1987
(Satellite View) 1987 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 1.30mb
(Transportation Map) 1987 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 950kb

Game-year 1988
(Satellite View) 1988 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 1.27mb
(Transportation Map) 1988 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 959kb

Game-year 1989

(Satellite View) 1989 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 1.27mb
(Transportation Map) 1989 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 970kb

Game-year 1990

(Satellite View) 1990 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 1.25mb
(Transportation Map) 1990 - 4724 x 2409 pixels - 971kb

Any questions or comments are welcome.

Everyone builds differently - this is what I find enjoyable. Simulating the growth of a city as realistically as possible. I'm in no rush to meet the clouds with sky-scrapers. They'll come with time as demand allows.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #2 - Proposed Daegon Rail Link

Postby CSGdesign » March 21st, 2010, 3:27 am

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Extract of the proposal presented to the Honourable Lord Mayor Geoff Lincoln of the Middleflats City Council, Boston City, dated 11/07/1967:

[beginning of document not included]

...Childers Rail and Hotdog Additives is pleased to present the current Daegon Rail Link proposal, which will connect the existing Curry River line [running from Boston City Central Harbour from WestGate Station (3) to Curry River Connect via Compton Station (7)] with the proposed Daegon Eastbank Station (12) via four proposed stations on the Daegon Rail Link.

The four stations are as follows:
#8 - Franklin Industrial Park Exchange
#9 - New Pimpshire Industrial Park Exchange
#10 - RiverForestLakeBreezeHill Estate Station
#11 - Daegon Central Industrial Complex Exchange
#12 - Daegon Eastbank Station

The full product disclosure is written in rediculously small type on the last 843 pages of this proposal, please ensure you read it carefully - we have included a cracked loupe to assist you in this task. We kindly request that the loupe is returned in good working order within the next twenty minutes.

The total cost of this project is estimated to be exactly $25.30 less than our competitors quote which you were good enough to provide us with in exchange for a free ride on the Pimpkenbar Express, however please be advised that when you are sufficiently committed to the project and we are nearing completion of the first stage that costs will increase approximately 500% or we will be forced to declare bankruptcy and leave you with the mess.

We trust that this proposal meets your satisfaction, and look forward to your incredibly over-inflated upfront 100% deposit being made into our bank accounts, the details of which are provided below in large red letters, and which we have also SMS'd, emailed, and sky-written above your office, all of which are being billed to you of course.

[rest of document not included]


This proposal is currently under scrutiny and will be ammended or approved in the immediate future.
The aerial photography plans are provided below for public viewing and comment.

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Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #3 - Local Bureauracy Gone Mad

Postby CSGdesign » March 21st, 2010, 3:28 am

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The sprawling west shores of Greenlip Lake, spanning the two shires of Clarke's Valley (to the south) and Manchester Lake (to the north) is quickly becoming an attractive place to settle, moving from a sleeping grazier's township to a small industrial orbit to the west of Boston Central. It is the west-most point where sims can settle near water, and one of the few natural bodies of freshwater anywhere in the entire region.

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The citizens of Clarke's Valley side of this community (the only side with any industrial strength at this time, and by far the most organised council) approached the local waterworks utility, which until that time focussed mainly on snow-cone production for the local exhibition once a year (not very profitable).

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Tiddalik's Waterworks was pleased to provide a contract to erect a large water tower on the west banks of Greenlip Lake, and fund the building of the piplelines that would distribute town water to the local community, including the newly released industrial zone which was expected to be the hub of growth for the next ten years.

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Now you can have a cup of water come out of your own taps in Clarke's Valley (which includes the suburbs of Crikville and Jelly Cup Bay). Yes that's right, Clarke's Valley only. At Donaster Street, on the northern edge of Clarke's Valley City Limits, the drink stops. Houses to the north of that in Larson (in Manchester Lake Shire Council) are welcome to drink from water tanks, the gutter, or their toilet... (which is filled from water tanks or the gutter using plastic cups).

Manchester Lake Shire Council and Clarke's Valley Shire Council have been unable to reach an agreement about the cost of building a network of pipes into the north shores of Greenlip Lake, let alone how much to charge for the water, and so northern shore residents must go without.

Clarke's Valley Council was quoted in the local paper as saying "Guess the West Side's the Best Side", which didn't help reach a diplomatic solution at all.

Stock up on plastic cups guys, this turf war isn't going to end any time soon.

Meanwhile the rest of the region barrels onwards.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #4 - A Community Cries Out for the Mainland

Postby CSGdesign » March 21st, 2010, 3:29 am

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Portsmouth Island.
One of the very eastern most islands in Boston Bay that currently has residents, and one which all shipping passes to and from the Port of Boston.
Until recently it has been little more than wilderness, but with the state government lotting it off and selling it to investers, people are moving in fast to snap up such a unique piece of real estate.

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The only problem is that there is absolutely no access whatsoever to the mainland except with resident sim's own water craft.
So while this land is a wonderful opportunity to build a home away from home, it is not a very succesful community as far as permanent living goes. It has little chance to develop without access to the mainland, and will remain nothing more than a struggling infant community.

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What Portsmouth Island really needs is ferry access, but the city simply isn't going to invest in such an expensive piece of infrastructure for such a tiny community, and such a tiny community isn't going to grow without SOME kind of ferry access.

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Submissions are being drafted to Portsmouth District Council for small piers, pontoons, jetties and other means of access to the ferries, but with as low build and maintenance cost as possible.

Because while the cries of the sims on Portsmouth Island become more insistent, the sims scattered across the other 32 islands are joining the chorus. Something MUST be done, and must be done NOW.

A few submissions have filtered to the top of the list and are being considered for development.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #5 - Teen Hangout or Dropout Generator?

Postby CSGdesign » March 21st, 2010, 3:30 am

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Skate Park comes under fire, located on the west banks of the Kholi Creek inlet, Boston North Central.
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The centre of the debate is how to prevent the local skate-park from being a gathering-point for bored teens looking for trouble.

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At one end of the debate are parents and citizens stating that the skatepark doesn't generate crime, it is simply a rally point for those already inclined to vandalism and the like, and is a very important recreational facility for their community... after all not every teen is a bad apple.
At the other end of the debate are local residents that are tired of having their environment graffiti'd, their homes stoned, and their cars broken into.

Council was at its wits end - afterall surely there are far more important issues to deal with than one skatepark and five or six disgruntled residents.

Council has pro-actively tackled this issue, and rather than take down the skate-park they decided to install a police kiosk to patrol the area.

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This not only keeps the local residents happy, but keeps the parents and citizens happy too, knowing that their teens are hanging out in a much safer environment.


The seawall shown above is available to download here.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #6 - Aluminium Pontoon Makes The Grade

Postby CSGdesign » March 21st, 2010, 5:13 am

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Guardburger And Sons Ltd's design for a basic aluminium ferry pontoon was selected as the best submission for pontoon designs, and went into manufacturing in late November, 1968.
The first such pontoon was Ol' Djohaal's Pontoon, built to service the pressing complaints of the Portsmouth Island community.

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The results of this pontoon were almost instantaneous.
Suddenly people had a quick, cheap, reliable means to travel to and from the island using Boston's ferry service.
People not only got jobs on the mainland, but mainlanders quickly took up the opportunity to buy land in the now booming community of Portsmouth Island.
Land prices skyrocketted, and development went ahead full steam.

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Felix Point's own Pontoon, slightly north west of Portsmouth, quickly became the launching point to get to and from Portsmouth Island, and as a result the community in that area also saw a significant increase in development.

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So great was the development and so inexpensive was the infrastructure that District Councils all over Boston contracted Guardburger and Sons Ltd to install pontoons in their own communities, and by April 1969 Guardburger had no less than 8 pontoons built around the region, with another 16 being drafted. All in remote regions where roads were either too expensive or not possible at all.

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The benefits to Boston at large have been enormous, and has made the development of the region's numerous small islands not only possible but extremely attractive to developers.
If only Aluminium didn't need to be imported it would make the production of these pontoons much faster...

For helping with the production of this pontoon I would like to thank Djohaal for BAT help (especially with LOD suggestions) and Mr Kahki Shorts for his help with invisible texturing.

This pontoon is available to download here.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #7 - Waste No Waste

Postby CSGdesign » March 21st, 2010, 5:14 am

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Time to take the trash out of the picture.

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Boston's central west (once nice farms that were quite content to bury their tyres and solvent paints in holes on their own land so it could seep into ground water) was now a sprawling suburbia where sims had the disgusting habit of putting trash in cans out the front of their houses on the street.

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So naturally the city had to cart it away and put it in land-fill, and as the population grew, so did the rate of trash.
Three large landfills later in only 17 years time, and the District Council had gotten fed up.
People were throwing out perfectly good teddie bears, televisions, even bottles of medication that wasn't even past its use-by date! Rediculous waste. Plenty of other sims could use this stuff, so it was time to do something about it.

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The District Council slapped a Recycling Plant into the Fenton Downs Waste Disposal site, and now sims can buy back their own trash at rediculously high prices and feel all warm and fuzzy that they didn't fill a great big hole with stuff that would have broken down in time. About 5000 - 8000 years time. Oh big deal, it's biodegrading isn't it?! Just SLOWLY.

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Now the amount of waste that goes into landfill is greatly reduced, AND people can indulge in that bizarre trait of paying good money for things that are totally 100% useless. Seriously who wants a rock with eyes glued onto it? Or a mirror that's got so many stickers around the edges that you can barely see yourself in it? Come ON people.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #8 - Plenty Of Prospects

Postby CSGdesign » March 24th, 2010, 12:09 pm

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Boston is expanding.
Rapidly.
Industry is booming, sims are flocking to the region in droves, and the city is fast becoming a thriving industrial sector.

But importing goods is expensive, especially if you can source them locally.
The SimNation State Government put out the call - prospectors would be given percentages of any significant mineral deposit that could be extracted profitably.

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The response was enormous. Sims from all over simnation scoared the countryside and the city suburbs alike. Geologists were in record demand as entire businesses were founded in an attempt to cash in on the SimNation State Government's offer.
As a result many natural deposits were found and logged. Some were small, some required further investigation with proper surveying techniques to determine their lode, and some were complete hoaxes. But some. Well some were enormous and very exciting.

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A host of minerals were found in the local area, and the rights to the land they were on was immediately snapped up by Boston City Council. One or two farmers disputed the claim, but the strata title clearly states that a property owner only owns the title to 2 meters below the surface of their land. Everything below that belongs to the State. Shotgun sales had a brief spike but fortunately there were no incidents.

Boston City Council is now auctioning off the mining rights to some of these deposits.
In particular the Bauxite and Iron Ore deposits to the south and the Silica deposits to the east... of which industry can make immediate use of without having to invest in too much new technology.

Plans for a quarry are being submitted to council, and it looks as though the healthy cheque being given to the government is guaranteeing the green-light.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #9 - Boston's First Major Hospital

Postby CSGdesign » March 24th, 2010, 12:10 pm

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Yesterday I received a postcard which had been posted some four months ago from Tom (gotta love the postal service).

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It reads:

Dear Hector,
I wanted to show you the hospital I went to as a result of my riding accident.
The postcard is still out of date - Mett Point Hospital had only been built for about six months or so. Everything is so white! I felt like Buck Rogers! Except sore.
I marked the area the hospital now sits in with a red marker - sorry it smudged.
I included a photograph of the wing I stayed in - one of the nurses was kind enough to oblige. I think she should probably stick to being a nurse.


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On inspecting the postcard in more detail I could indeed see that the area the hospital now occupied used to be some smaller buildings - probably some shops or townhouses or something, as well as the old David Jones outlet that had that fire not so long ago.

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Its quite a different skyline now I guess. Feels good to know there's real quality healthcare available if something goes wrong. There's no way those little urban GP's could have stitched Tom's legs back on and done that tripple brain bypass after his accident.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #10 - Daegon Rail Link Brings The Bucks

Postby CSGdesign » March 24th, 2010, 12:12 pm

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The Daegon Rail Link was completed in late March, 1973, linking Boston Central to the western suburbs, and terminating at the Daegon Central Industrial Complex.

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The only station that was not laid from the initial proposal was the Daegon Eastbank Station.

With such a cheap and reliable method of mass transit to and from the heart of Boston, business flowed rapidly into Daegon, with sims and development following close behind.

In just one year, Deagon changed drastically from a small sleepy town into a busy developped suburban sprawl, with the growth in industry requiring not one but two new Natural Gas Power Plants operating at maximum capacity.

JUST AFTER DAEGON RAIL LINK COMPLETED, March 1973
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JUST OVER ONE YEAR LATER, July 1974
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The growth in this region has been rapid, but it has also been dirty and poorly planned, which is causing the local council (which is still very small and disorganised) some real headaches.

Something's gotta give.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #11 - Wilderness Warriors Get Grimey

Postby CSGdesign » March 24th, 2010, 12:15 pm

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BRIEFING AT MEETING OF ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP "WILDERNESS WARRIORS".

Regarding the immediate development of the area leased to Grimey Earthscars Ltd, being open cut mined for Bauxite.

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Welcome everybody.

Please find in front of you the briefing being provided on the Grimey Earthscars quarry, down in Tunnings Plains just south of Kelly Bay.

Inside you'll find details of the council application, leasing agreement of Grimey, as well as some photos that were taken last week from Sky Warrior 2, which for those of you that dont know is one of our fleet of helicopters.


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Now as most of you will know this quarry has been approved and is perfectly legal and whats worse is paying the council as well as SimNation Government a LOT of money, so it's likely to go ahead no matter what we do.

The direction we need to consider is how to minimise it's impact on the local wildlife.

As you can see in the first photograph, Grimey has surrounded their entire site in a chainlink fence, complete with barbed wire rim, which effectively stops everything and everyone from getting in or out.


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As we know from Grimey's development plan, the dozers move in next month and clear that entire area within the chainlink fence, and burn the lot. There is nothing we can do to prevent this, and the trees in that area are completely unable to be saved - Grimey has blind-sided us by placing a detailed and very elaborate reforestation plan which has been approved for the last 3 months and is out of our reach.

What we can and should focus on is the animal life trapped within this fence. Presently this fauna is completely unaware of its danger, and has been totally surrounded, but once those trees are clear felled their shelter will disappear fast and they'll have nowhere to go. This is going to result in the unecessary death and injury of many animals, and could actually lead to injury to Grimey's workers too.


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Grimey Earthscar's development plan shows they'll be working from the site office which will be located just within the gate. That's the third picture in your folders, which shows the main gate at the north end of the site. We need to take urgent action to lobby the government to require Grimey to open up the southern end of the barrier at four key points which will allow the startled animal life to escape away from the machinery and into the neighbouring forest.

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This should be a relatively inexpensive exercise for us, but just for good measure I want you four to organise the local schools and college to chain themselves to the trees and chant holding banners that people won't really understand anyway.

Any questions?
Good. Thanks for coming people, and good luck with the stink-bombing of that Japanese whaling vessel tomorrow. My wife has kept all our used nappies from the last month, so that should be a nice addition to our ammunition.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #12 - Grimey Sets Up Shop

Postby CSGdesign » May 9th, 2010, 6:51 am

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The time has come for Grimey Earthscars Ltd to set up shop and clear the way for their mining operations.
Two large trucks have rolled in and set up the site office, located just within the main gate, as per Grimey's development plan.

It is patrolled by dogs at night and manned during the day. Please wipe your feet.

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Enough trucks and vehicles have passed this way now to wear a visible muddy track that meanders through the forest from Kelly Bay.

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The gravelly sealed road that leads from Kelly Bay terminates in a cul-de-sac, and another huge gate stops unwanted tresspassers and casual on-lookers. It is also remarkably good at reducing the number of people trying to get in and chain themselves to trees. Willful damage of property is a good deterrent.

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The bulldozers and heavy machinery rumble ever closer.
The earth trembles, birds scatter screaming and fluttering their distress.

Somewhere in one of Grimey's water-front offices a corporate fat-cat with a cigar grins on his leather chair, drooling over profit forecasts.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #13 - Clear and Burn

Postby CSGdesign » May 9th, 2010, 6:52 am

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The machinery has arrived.
Grimey Earthscar Ltd's clearing operations have begun.

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The forests within the fenced off quarry region are being cleared at a rate of two football fields per day, with the lumber being piled into huge stacks and left to dry out and become more combustable.

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When the piles are dry enough to be flamable, they're burnt, leaving nothing but ash which will be scraped and relocated along with the top rubble, to expose the valuable ore only meters below the surface.

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This is where Grimey Earthscar Ltd lives up to its name.

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Credit to Pegasus for the mayor-mode ploppable construction equipment shown in this entry.
The download for these can be found here.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #14 - Dirty Money

Postby CSGdesign » May 9th, 2010, 6:53 am

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The machinery at Tunnings Quarry have begun mining operations!
The layer of un-useable dirt and debris on the surface (known as the Top Rubble) has been scraped off into piles, exposing the valuable Bauxite Ore underneath.

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Then the huge Earth Moving equipment rolls in and digs huge pits into the ore, with a bee-line of rumbling dirt-covered trucks rolling back and forth carting the ore away to the nearby Electrolysis plant.

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Of course the trucks are temporary, until the rail-line is put in.
Council is still dithering about regarding who is footing the bill for this, because they know it will cost Grimey a great deal of money to be forced to use large trucks on a dirt road. Grimey's legal team are stirred wasps.

Meanwhile the mine is becoming quite the eye-sore.

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Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #15 - Cradle Bay's Fireys

Postby CSGdesign » May 9th, 2010, 6:53 am

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The remote northern community of Cradle Bay is nestled around a beautiful white-sanded sparkling salt-water inlet, and is one of Boston's most rapidly developing areas, despite it's distance from civilisation.

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But as buildings go up and people move in, the fire hazard grows and grows.

In addition, Cradle Bay is completely surrounded by Bettledown Forest, and so wild fire poses are very real risk, especially during the drier summer months.

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With the only access to the closest Fire Station (located in Gravatt, on the northern shores of Boston Central) being Old Cradle Bay Road - some 5 kilometers of winding woodland road - it is no wonder that Cradle Bay residents were nervous whenever someone sparked up a cigarette. In fact there have been recorded cases of Cradle Bay residents taking hoses to their neighbour's barbeques.

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So the city council plopped a small fire station in, which happened to land of the Wicked Witch of the West as an added mayor ratings bonus. Hot.

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The downside of course is that smoking has proliferated in the area now people feel safer to light up.
So now council is forced to consider health facilities for the area.
Damn the Butterfly Effect!
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #16 - Thoroughbred Stud Thoroughly Dud

Postby CSGdesign » May 9th, 2010, 6:54 am

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Hampton Thoroughbred Stud was founded in 1926 in the eastern suburbs of a fresh young Boston by Garibald Hampton, an Italian immigrant. Originally intended as a property to conduct experiments on creating the first electric horse, Garibald quickly discovered it was a lot more sensible to simply breed and sell horses. And so the Hampton Thoroughbred Stud was founded, and has done relatively well up until the last 10 years or so.

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In 1921, the area that the Hampton Thoroughbred Stud was located on was nothing more than wild land, sliced here and there by the odd road and powerline.

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In 1926 Hampton Thoroughbred Stud was founded, and was one of the leading studs in the entire region for almost a full three weeks, until Girder and Girder set up their automated horse factory, which could produce horses at almost five times the rate Garibald could bred them on his stud.

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None-the-less the Hampton Thoroughbred Stud continued to prosper somewhat, and saw the conversion of the old coal power plant into a modern Natural Gas power plant, the proliferation of industry in the area, as well as the buy-out and development of old Jerry Hatcher's apple orchard by Grimey Industries Pty Ltd, just to the stud's north.

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Little by little development enveloped the Hampton Thoroughbred Stud, until last year when it was so completely enveloped by modern industry and noisy train lines, that the Stud was seriously under threat. Combined with the area's almost total conversion to automobiles, and the recent shocking birth of a foal with a head at the back, a tail at the front, and all four legs facing backwards, Hampton's last shred of income potential was stripped and the Stud was utterly bankrupt.

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Fortunately an enterprising counciller was at the time searching for a convincing means of slowing dirty industries growth and encouraging a much cleaner direction for the city's booming population.

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Counciller Koffystane realised that while the stud's land was utterly useless to agriculture, and close to useless to every other zoning type except perhaps industry (which would have only increased the growing problems of traffic and pollution plaguing the area), it was a truly excellent location for a green project designed to boost the area's culture and wealth.

Koffystane proposed Boston's first Botonical Gardens, inspired by recent visits to some large SimNation cities that had some very fine examples of how botonical gardens could promote a region.

The City Council was enthrawled by the idea, and begun preparing the site and importing huge fully grown live trees from other parts of SimNation (and locally) at massive expense.

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After almost a full year of construction, the new Hampton Botanical Gardens were complete!

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Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #17 - Saved By The Bell (Downloadable Custom Content)

Postby CSGdesign » May 9th, 2010, 6:56 am

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Since the installation of Ol' Djohaal's Pontoon, Portsmouth Island has grown rapidly, spreading almost across the entire island in only a few short years.

Such rapid growth in a community is great, but with any growth comes requirements. In this case, elementary education.

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The nearby mainland elementary school on Felix Point had served for the lucky few that could afford two daily ferry trips and the long walks to and from the pontoons, but it meant that only 8% of the kids on Portsmouth Island were getting any kind of eduction at all.

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In addition, the daily traffic on the ferry was ensuring the ferry was nearly sinking from the weight of all the chewing gum stuck under the seats. Seriously, it was at a point where people were having to roll large balls of it down the isle and over the side of the ferry just so they could claim a seat.

However with such a small population it was a problem for the council to fork out the huge maintenance costs of a full-scale school, so the council had the brilliant idea of relocating an abandoned house from the mainland and turning it into a small one-teacher school house.

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The bus range was smaller, the education the school impressed on the local community was less, and the size was physically smaller than a standard elementary school, however the costs were enormously less, both to build and maintain. And that's enough to make any councillor smile.

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This school house is available to download here.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #18 - Charlie's Crossing

Postby CSGdesign » May 9th, 2010, 6:58 am

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Foggy Inlet, a well established township that surrounded the crystal gently lapping salt waters of a natural bay, with a nearby freshwater lake (one of only a few in the region). As this township developped, the locals were quite happy to drive around the shores of the inlet, however as the sprawl moved up and down the coast, the trip around the inlet got longer and longer.

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Combined with the traffic commuting from south and north of Foggy Inlet (for example between Crystal Bay and Felix Point), and Foggy Bay was beginning to get positively in the way.
A crossing was proposed where the north and south shores of Foggy Inlet were closest, to drastically reduce the trip from one side to the other. Since there was no major traffic, it only needed to be a small crossing.

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Three crossings were proposed, and weighed on their merits.
In the end, Charlie's Crossing (named after the engineer that proposed the design) was selected as the best option, both because of cost and the minimal disruption to the local population. It only involved the purchase of Quiggley Manor, seven small residences, and a downtrodden half-abandoned old shopping centre that had been struggling to lease to video rentals and mower shops for years.

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The trip up and down the north coast of Boston had now been greatly reduced, and Foggy Inlet and all of the northern reaches of the coast had grown enormously in attractiveness to sims. Hoorah, now let's have a beer.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #19 - Forestry Chips In

Postby CSGdesign » May 9th, 2010, 6:59 am

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Sound Way, south of Boston Central. A waking rural landscape that has been selected by the newly formed Department Of Forestry to undertake a trial plantation of Renewable Lumber.

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As SimCity spread rapidly (Boston being only one of millions), farms and roads cleared the surrounding forest both for space and for lumber required to build the blossoming number of developments underway. Soon the local environment was under a very real threat, and SimNation Government formed what came to be known as the Department Of Forestry. The Dept of Forestry's purpose was to manage the green resources throughout SimNation, which included not only protecting and managing developmental impacts, but also providing renewable building resources to industry for the greater good of SimNational cities' development.

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A farm in Sound Way was selected as a viable location for the trial, and Cedar was selected as the lumber to initially trial.

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After only a couple of short years the saplings had grown to a healthy 3 meters (some even better where they'd tapped into water pipes) and were looking very healthy and productive.

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After another three years the cedars were young mature harvest-ready plants, and Forestry's trial was now ready for the final report before lumber harvest began.

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One of the first observations was that some of the trees often did not grow very well when too near developments such as roads and structures. This was put down to likely compression of roots and redirection of runoff water (into gutters and drains instead of an even spread and seepage into the ground where the trees' roots were).

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Another observation that was never made public was that the trees posed a very serious fire threat to neighbourhoods that were immediately adjacent to the plantation. In addition roots tended to upset foundations and asphalt, requiring expensive repairs. Forestry did not release these results for fear of litigation, and the reports were shredded shortly after the trial plantation was harvested.

However the end deduction was clear: renewable pine plantations were cost-effective, improved the local environment, drastically helped prevent the clear felling of native forests, and in general were an extremely viable means of producing lumber.

With a few key adjustments like locating the plantations away from development and increasing the size and variety of species, the Department of Forestry was confident that a new industry was being born.

Plantation sites for cedars were selected all across the region, as well as trials for a variety of other tree species.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #20 - Miller Chunks Up

Postby CSGdesign » May 9th, 2010, 7:01 am

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Miller Road, one of the very first roads to have been laid in Boston, heading north along the then newly developping coastline upriver.
Conjestion has forced council to upgrade the entire stretch of Miller Road, from Boston Harbour Bridge to just north of Industry Way Rail Bridge.

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Step 1) - Identify the area that needs to be upgraded. Notice all the annoying buildings in the way. Since sims develop their structures at their own expense and will always move back in, don't worry about existing buildings, let's just blanket re-develop the entire zone to better suit future requirements.

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Step 2) - Bulldoze the entire region to the ground, giving you a clear view of the area and allowing you to create a new and better infrastructure in whatever way you think works best.

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Step 3) - Create a new, larger road up the guts of your new area. Make it nice and straight and pretty, because it will afterall be the hub of your new mega-plex.

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Step 4) - Connect roads to your new avenue at regular tidy intervals. Keep it nice and neat and your new area will look suitably planned and pretty.

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.... Okay if you believed that's how I'm going to upgrade a conjested road in this city, then your IP has been logged and you are hereby forbidden from ever reading this City Journal again.

That is exactly what you are NOT to do if you want to develop a city in the "natural growth" method.
You NEVER, EVER, EVER do things easy and tidy and let the sims come and enjoy your work later.
You work AROUND the sims and WITH the city, and to hell with how difficult that is, that's what it's allllll about.

So.
Let's start this again shall we?


Right.

Now.
This is the area we've identified as being heavilly conjested and requiring re-development.
It needs to be done as cost-effectively as possible, and at every stage we need to limit the amount of public upheaval and inconvenience. If possible we need to ensure that at all times during construction works traffic can still flow, even if its in a limited way.

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Area's 1 and 4 (and 5, which is not shown in the above map, but is a little further to the north in Poshland) are the areas that are least conjested. But if we're gonna upgrade the whole area, we might as well do it all now to prevent us having to upset sims later anyways. If we upgrade just areas 2 and 3 now then the resulting traffic flow will only ensure areas 1,4, and 5 become rapidly more conjested, so we'll treat the entire thing as one big project.

Area 2 is the most conjested through-flow road (Miller Road).
Area 3 is heavilly conjested with bus and car traffic taking sims to and from the rail terminal and the ferry (immediately next to the rail station, between Cove Park and Outlook Park).

So let's begin.

Step 1) - Rail crossings (especially with realistic slope mods) are the most difficult to work with because rails have such a slight incline allowance. So where-ever possible I work with the crossing FIRST and make everything else fit to that road-works.

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Step 2) - Use the bulldozer tool and hover over the various buildings and structures in the area you want to upgrade, to get a feel for what costs what. Always choose to upgrade and build infrastructure in the least-expensive way possible, so that means spending as little as possible bulldozing as well as building. Notice how public structures and commercial buildings are always more expensive, and how higher-density buildings are more expensive than lower-density buildings. This gives you a good idea of where to place your new roads.

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Step 3) - Having identified what buildings you'd like to issue a "Compulsory Acquistion" notice to, let's begin at the rail crossing, and work through the road upgrade from there.

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Step 4) - Surgically bulldoze individual structures that are in your way, and especially road intersections and street to road tiles, as these can make dragging a new avenue difficult. It's much easier to drag an avenue and then connect roads and streets to it, but remember you're trying to be cost effective AND disrupt traffic as little as possible, so dont bulldoze unless you are having difficulty dragging your avenue.

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Step 5) - Drag your avenue rail crossing.

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Step 6) - Repeat the process for the next stage of the development. Take the time to delight in the number of phonecalls and meetings that are being disrupted by the jack-hammers and earth-moving machinery's noise.

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Step 7) - Continue the development carefully, one stretch at a time, always choosing the least expensive direction, but without letting your bean counting make your avenue start heading off into low-density suburbs... remember what point A and point B that you're trying to connect is and ensure you're always choosing an efficient route between them as well. It's a balancing act. Nobody said it was gunna be easy.

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Step 8) - As you create new roads, try not to interrupt existing roads' traffic flow. All this development can and should be going on while the simulator is running. Roads never just pop into existance overnight. They shouldn't in your city either. If you're a real nutbag like me, build them slowly over months of game time, for that added realism. Traffic will NOT thank you for it and sims will almost certainly move out, but sacrifice for the greater good, eh.

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Step 9) - To minimise the amount of cleanup and risk of "isolated streets" and other misfortunes from your development, re-zone and reconnect roads as you go. This is a great opportunity to make zones near the new (and what will become very heavilly trafficked in the future) road into commercial (loves traffic) instead of residential (hates traffic).

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Step 10) - Try to go around commercial buildings if you can, because a single commercial structure can cost as much to bulldoze as building 100 or 200 meters of avenue through low-density residential. That beige scraper above this stretch costs $700 to bulldoze, and those smaller ones to it's right cost about $500 each... the decision to go around them is easy.

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Step 11) - Dont forget to connect your roads and streets as you go! It'll be a shame if you come back in a few game months and find enter suburbs that were "cut off" from the new development being abandoned because you forgot about one lousy street connection.

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Step 12) - When larger buildings are demolished, they leave their "driveway points" in the direction the entire structure had faced, which can often be different to the smaller constituent zones you had originally laid which it had amalgamated to build onto. Make sure these are re-zoned to face their neighbouring streets or of course they wont develop.

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Step 13) - If you thought rail crossings were hard, try rail crossings close to rail bridges. Make sure you dont build right up to this sort of crossing and then find out too late your road needs to cross two or three tiles to the left.

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Step 14) - Build your crossing first, and then connect to that - it's SO much easier that way.

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Step 15) - Admire your handiwork. The fewer buildings you've knocked down, the better the job you've done. Of course unless you have reserves near your road then some buildings WILL be knocked down, but try to minimise it. Now let the simulator run while you work on other areas and when you come back this area should be developped as well or better than when you started, and should have zero road conjestion problems for many, many game years to come.

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Okay now all you people who thought I'd actually bulldoze half a city to lay a road, your IP is not actually logged and you can keep reading if you want to, but srsly if by this entry you haven't realised that I don't take the easy-way-out like that, then maybe this journal isn't really yer cuppatea. Try Quake. Or CounterStrike.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #21 - Hail and Ride

Postby CSGdesign » May 9th, 2010, 7:03 am

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Public Transportation is a valuable and necessary addition to any city, even a low-density sprawl. Perhaps especially.
Arguably the most cost-effective method of public transport is buses, as they both relieve the traffic flow (increasing development) and earn fares. Cars don't generate revenue without tolls (which impede transit), however buses do collect fares and therefore generate revenue, and can be an absolutely essential method of taking your city from breaking even to turning a profit.

Boston Central, Boston Central South, Central South East and Central East are the most populated city tiles in the region at the moment, so we'll focus on them for this entry.

Below is an overview of a typical suburban area (this cross-section is in fact Boston Central) showing the spacing of bus-stops. Every citizen is within comfortable walking distance of a bus-stop, making choosing a bus as transit instead of a car as transit a perfectly valid transit choice. In turn this relieves traffic, which in turn allows more sims to move in and more revenue to be generated both in taxes and in fares.

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The larger render of the four central city tiles can be viewed here. It is 1mb in size, and the same scale as the image above.

As you can see, every city is turning a very reasonable profit from it's transit network. The subways tend to be an expensive addition which is why the more populated cities (where the subways have more lines and stations) have a lower profit for their fares vs transit costs.

BOSTON CENTRAL
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BOSTON SOUTH CENTRAL

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BOSTON SOUTH EAST CENTRAL
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BOSTON EAST CENTRAL
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In future entries I will show the location of train stations, ferries, rail and will also show the primary routes taken by buses in the network.
I believe the key to a successful bus system is to ignore the cost of placing and maintaining each bus-stop, but rather think about your sims and what they need.

Placing stops in work-zones like CBDs and industrial hubs, within walking distance of every house and home, and very close to all R$$ and R$ apartments, is essential to convincing your sims to Hail and Ride. Putting bus stops near other public transport options like train stations, ferries, or subways can further increase the transit options available to your sims, and further reduce commute times and traffic.

Don't bother putting bus stops near R$$$ structures (either residential or commercial) since R$$$ citizens hate public transport and would rather take their nice shiney car to work. Snobs. What's wrong with being sneezed on and rubbing up against the sweaty guy with stubble? So what if he's got swine-flu and some kind of fungal infection...


UPDATE SINCE THIS ENTRY WAS FIRST CREATED
Some of my cities earn more from the profits on bus fairs than their entire expenses, now.
Which effectively means I could not tax them AT ALL and still turn a profit.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Entry #22 - Great Northern Bay Road

Postby CSGdesign » May 9th, 2010, 7:04 am

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Want to take a road trip?
Tired of going to the corner store and back?
Let's get out of Boston altogether, and visit the northern city of Orthanc Quay?

Well fortunately now we can, since the newly installed Great Northern Bay Road that stretches the entire distance from Crystal Bay to Orthanc Quay (we'll visit that town later in the journal, not for awhile yet).

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Previously the only way to travel between Boston and the northern cities was by ferry, aircraft, or to a much lesser extent bashing your way through the forest with a pack llama and 6 little kids that didn't speak your language carrying yer gear.

Now, thanks to the ... not at all modern ... invention of asphalt and the efforts of a few over-paid civil engineers, Great Northern Bay Road is now available and at your disposal.

Let's take a trip.

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The traffic is still very small traveling between neighboring cities but this small, winding, and very scenic little road is now the highway north from Boston.
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Re: CSGdesign's NATURAL GROWTH

Postby Phil07 » May 9th, 2010, 10:43 am

I have several questions in mind when starting a natural growth style, like:
a. When do you provide water for the sims?
b. When do you provide civic services (police/fire coverage, education, and health)?; and
c. When do you start zoning for medium density?

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Re: CSGdesign's NATURAL GROWTH

Postby CSGdesign » May 9th, 2010, 12:04 pm

Hi Phil07,

These are common questions I've received about Natural Growth Style.

The short answer is:
Natural Growth is about role-playing your city - and effectively the universe you create for your city is up to you, therefore, the answer to these questions are - It's up to you.

With Boston v2, I did the following:
  1. I usually (but not always) provide water for the sims when the simulator tells me that growth is being impeded by lack of water. Outlying regions I will still let go dry for a long time. Later in this journal I did an entry specifically dealing with this question. Small towns and especially isolated communities usually have water tanks and dams and dont get mains water for quite some time.
  2. I normally provide a small school (the one I built - available on CSGfx) when the community is large enough to house one - generally when it has around 20x20 tiles worth of suburbia. When it's around twice this size I will normally upgrade to a normal maxis elementary school, and a medical center alongside it somewhere close, as they have similar areas of influence. Police and fire I only put in when the need arises - usually when there's a fire outbreak, or when I start hearing a lot of car alarms and gun fire and such, then I get a police blitz happening and crack down on it - which generally results in a great jump in costs followed almost immediately by a boom in R$$ growth and taxes alongside it, covering the cost and then greatly overtaking it.
  3. Medium density I will generally start zoning in popular areas when I feel the surrounding suburbia warrents it, always residential first, and medium commercial many game years later. The same goes for high density - I zone it when the surrounding area is a sea of medium density and high density has a chance to emerge without looking like an abrupt transition from low to high density... and always in the more popular areas which are usually the first areas that houses were built on out of farmland or woodland - almost always beside the water and on hills - where sims like to live...
Hope that answers yer Q's? :)
Do it right or you've wasted your time.

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Location: Proud Tasmanian

Re: CSGdesign's NATURAL GROWTH

Postby Phil07 » May 9th, 2010, 2:28 pm

Yes, it will help a lot since my region now has a population of around 17k. I think I will be introducing water to the first communities I made. I might as well build my first police stations since I now have medium density industry. And as for the mid density zones, I think it can wait until my region hass around 30-40k sims (not quite sure about that)

Thanks a lot!
Phil07
Likes Simcity
Likes Simcity
 
Posts: 18
Joined: April 5th, 2010, 4:55 am

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