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City Showcase (All games welcome) => Recently Published => Topic started by: siemanthepieman on August 05, 2016, 11:21:29 PM

Title: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: siemanthepieman on August 05, 2016, 11:21:29 PM
First Settington, 1 September 1901

On 17 July 1901, King Schmo I tasked his eldest son, Prince Schmo, with the job of finding and creating a suitable port for the region. Upon his arrival in 1856 on what became the Greater Isle of Schmo, the King found his preference in the high country in the middle of the island and built his castle upon the top of the island’s highest peak.
 
From there he reigned over the main island and a number of much smaller islands that surround it and a small settlement developed.

As the King’s family grew (Prince Schmo, the first of 7, was born on 17 July 1874) so too did the settlement surrounding his castle. The settlement became known as Schmotenton. The King was incredibly wealthy and, partly due to his benevolence and partly due to its small but thriving local economy, the islanders enjoyed substantial wealth themselves.

Eventually though, by the time of Prince Schmo’s 26th birthday, the royal coffers were becoming stretched and the thriving settlement was in need of a small port facility to ensure its continued prosperity.
   
Fiercely independent – and therefore, the King though, perfect for a potentially lengthy expedition to establish a port town – Prince Schmo commenced planning immediately. He decided that the logical course was to follow the Simoleon River which ran to the north east of the island, the opposite direction to river mouth where his father first landed 45 years earlier. It was well known, and indeed much lamented, that the river mouth where King Schmo first landed was entirely unsuitable for a port facility.

A ballsy sim, always willing to back his judgement, Prince Schmo decided he would build the rail track to take him to his new port before actually sighting it. From the say so of the early explorers, it was anecdotally known to consist of a large gulf, with rather large mountains running right up to the coast on either side. It was supposedly a very beautiful part of the island, with wooded plains equally suited to both forestry and clearance for agriculture or development. Prince Schmo decided that if worse came to worse, he would simply establish a seaside village and branch a new track off at some point in the hope of finding a suitable port bay the second time around.

By 1 September 1901, Prince Schmo had made substantial progress. After his track was 5000 sleepers clear of the town limits, he declared his first region of exploration as First Settington. He stuck close to the river to start with.

(http://i.imgur.com/6p7FHAw.jpg)

It wasn’t long before his workers had to construct their first rail bridge. At this point, so pleased he was, Prince Schmo decided it was time to settle in to his new region. It was simple digs at first – just  a couple of small workers huts, one for him and one for his workers so that they did not have so far to return home each night and progress could therefore speed along!

(http://i.imgur.com/MuQAtqV.jpg)

As the working party ploughed onwards, always trying to scout the flattest possible path for the rail lines, the tracks hugged the foothills for a period, deviating where necessary.

(http://i.imgur.com/CFETQA4.jpg)

And crossing back closer to the river if the land dictated that it be so.

(http://i.imgur.com/dShzABl.jpg)

Eventually, a strange arrow (through which it was later discovered trains could magically pass) just popped up on the tracks. Prince Schmo decided it was an appropriate time to take stock of his progress and declare a new region. He named the new region East Settington and it was really just an extension of First Settington. There was nothing there, the working party simply built the rail line as fast as it could skirting the edge of the river and heading ever hopefully onwards.

(http://i.imgur.com/fHSzrmZ.jpg)

So keen was the working party for progress that it didn’t even stop when the next mystery arrow appeared on their tracks. They carried right on until they came to an interesting watercourse that followed the river for a small while and then curved inland connecting the river to a large body of water. The working party followed the watercourse closely for a bit but became disheartened when they realised they might not find a suitable place to cross. They had almost turned back on themselves when, luckily, Prince Schmo himself noticed what was almost a natural causeway. Whilst of course the earthworks required to fully block an inland body of water from the river it drains to will never be insignificant, there was not a great deal of work required to complete a level causeway across the watercourse leading to what a short time later became known as Lake Schmo.

(http://i.imgur.com/oyDI1ui.jpg)

The finished product was rather pleasing and certainly sturdy enough to carry the heavy freight carriages that Prince Schmo envisaged crossing it in years to come.

(http://i.imgur.com/eEOLqDu.jpg)

Even more pleasing to the Prince, once the tracks crossed the causeway, they naturally came to a nice little clearing.

(http://i.imgur.com/zW4P19X.jpg)

Almost immediately, the Prince decided to declare a new region – Settington Inlet – and a small workers hut and goods station was built to enable goods being transported from Schmotenton to be stored closer to where they were needed and to save the workers from having to return to First Settington each night.

(http://i.imgur.com/6nzpJrM.jpg)

This would be the site of Prince Schmo's first real home outside his father's immediate realm, but it certainly wouldn't be his last.
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: APSMS on August 06, 2016, 02:15:58 PM
Fun way to start, and I'm always a sucker for a good rail line. I look forward to seeing what becomes of Prince Schmo.
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: art128 on August 06, 2016, 03:40:30 PM
This reminds me loosely of Criquette's (Marrast) CJ a long time ago.

Nice start, the train line is so smooth and nice looking.
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: kbieniu7 on August 06, 2016, 04:04:28 PM
Interesting! I repeat Arthur, the railline looks very smooth  :) The popping arrows - what a mystery? Maybe a sigh from the God, showing them the direction, they should follow? What could that be?  ;D
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: Akallan on August 07, 2016, 05:08:39 AM
I agree with the comment of art128, your rail seems very natural with beautiful curves and marries the relief. Simple, but beautiful! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: siemanthepieman on August 17, 2016, 04:33:16 AM
REPLIES

Akallan, kbieniu7 and APSMS - Thank you for your kind comments. I am quite pleased with how the line turned out. It is my first real use of smooth curves and FA rail. Much more tedious to lay than straights and diagonals but worth it in the end.

art128 - Thank you, but I am afraid I am only going to disappoint from here on in if you are expecting anything too Marrast like. I've not seen his CJ (I will go and find it after this) but if his custom content is anything to go by my skills won't remind you of his for too much longer.

While I am on that point - a bit about me and my CJ. Like all of us, I play for fun. While I try to give my cities a nod to realism, I don't consider it the be all and end all. I plan to tell the story of Prince Schmo developing his realm through my CJ and will take considerable artistic licence as I go to make the story fit what I can achieve in the game and to suit the way my cities develop. I just hope the fun comes through in the CJ so that others might enjoy reading it. I am a not modder, or a lotter or a batter - although I have used the LE and Reader before to modify a couple of lots and properties. I hope that my CJ will allow me to both show off some lots I hope to make and enable to seek help and obtain feedback when I need it.

And without further ado, on with the story of Prince Schmo ...

Update 1 - Settington Inlet

Shortly after the first construction in First Settington, the Prince ordered the construction of a water tower and a number of small storage sheds and it was decided to split the rail line and develop a small town around the two terminating lines.

(http://i.imgur.com/gJQQnSP.jpg)

Prince Schmo then decided it was time to build a proper residence for himself – even if it was fairly modest by royal standards. Of course, all royals desire some level of security around their residence and Prince Schmo was no different. While building the wall around the township of Settington Inlet, Prince Schmo realised that the casueway he had constructed could well be the only way that any form of transport could ever get through to the port he ultimately hoped to build. He realised that a small fortification across the causeway would enable him to control who crossed into Settington Inlet and beyond. With that realisation, Prince Schmo fortified the causeway and declared himself King Schmo II - considering all lands north east of what became known as the Settington Inlet Forts to thereafter belong to his own autonomous region. The port, when it was found, would be entirely his and the ability to easily impose a toll on any rail traffic needing to use the causeway (which would be all of it) would ensure financial prosperity for all time.

(http://i.imgur.com/cSwj1RT.jpg)

So pleased was the Prince having declared himself King, he doubled the size of his residence and settled in.

(http://i.imgur.com/pn4rBkX.jpg)

And it wasn’t much longer until a large warehouse had been built and substantial stores accumulated to enable work on the rail line to steam ahead.

(http://i.imgur.com/I9Oi5KM.jpg)

And steam ahead it did ...
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: art128 on August 17, 2016, 05:19:24 AM
Oh don't worry if you don't have the same "quality in skills" as Marrast... His CJ dates back from 2005 so a lot of things have evolved since then. (Notably HD terrain mods, seasonal flora etc.)

Seems like our new king set in a nice place. It'll be interesting to see how this area evolves in recent times. :)

By the way, here's Marrast CJ: http://community.simtropolis.com/forums/topic/5072-aureliano-flareflakes-rush/
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: siemanthepieman on September 18, 2016, 04:50:46 AM
REPLIES:

art128 - Thanks for the kind comments (and the links to Marrast's CJ - certainly some inspiration in there!) and for following along. It seems I have collected my first follower. Hopefully, as I progress through the evolution of my city I can collect a few more.

MUSINGS:

I thought I'd add a little bit more about the point and aim of this CJ - if it isn't apparent yet, it will become apparent that this CJ will be of a growing city and region. Later on I hope to present some perfectly laid out cities like I admire on here from others, but to start with, it will show rail lines being laid, suburbs and industrial centres and CBD's and business hubs being developed and, as cities grow, infrastructure being improved and expanded. And I am very much still learning all there is to learn about this game. I hope that my CJ will allow me to showcase improvements in my work and allow for other to offer helpful pointers to help me develop my skills even further. PS: I have already noted that I need to remember to turn off the grid when taking photos of my cities.

UPDATE:

Work progressed very quickly from Settington Inlet – the rail line largely skirted the river as it worked its way through the new regions of Valley’s Flat and then Chilliwack Flats (a large region including South West Chilliwack Flats, South Chilliwack Flats and North East Chilliwack Flats).

(http://i.imgur.com/iklqlU6.jpg)

Apart from a nice little set of bridges in Chilliwack Flats proper…

(http://i.imgur.com/cjXr5cI.jpg)

… there was nothing really of note until the rail line arrived at Tribute Isles where another rather neat set of bridges had to be constructed to cross the river toward the much anticipated gulf which would eventually house the new port.

(http://i.imgur.com/mP4w3d5.jpg)

The working party then stuck as close as it could to the river, declaring the new regions of Knoll West, Goose Island and then Goose Flat.

(http://i.imgur.com/zcUNDxq.jpg)

It was easy going, with no construction of note other than a small abutted bridge towards the eastern edge of Goose Flat.

(http://i.imgur.com/5Hhkcz9.jpg)

After the bridge the rail line continued beyond Goose Flat and the tracks returned to the banks of the river. As the tracks came close the banks of the river again, King Schmo notice a complex set of islands, beyond which he could see what seemed to be the start of a mountainous range next to a flat and open plain. The winds started to feel different and King Schmo could have sworn he could smell salt in the air. It wasn’t long before the river started to bend back toward the south and King Schmo, confident the sea was imminently north of where the working party had come to, thought it was time to declare The Crossing and head due north for the sea. And so they did, at least for a short distance.

It soon became apparent that to complete the crossing heading exactly north would involve crossing a number of very small islands that didn’t have the foundations necessary for rail traffic. But without turning back around either clockwise to the south or anti-clockwise to the west, the only option was a diagonal bridge. Even though it was 1921 by the time the working party made ‘the crossing’, superstition still held the wood over pure physics and it was strongly felt that bridges should only be constructed running north-south or east-west. A diagonal bridge had never been built. But circumstances dictated that engineering prowess finally overcome superstition and, at least as far as King Schmo was aware,  the world’s first known diagonal bridge was constructed to complete the crossing.

(http://i.imgur.com/4TzaXIr.jpg)

Directly to the north of the diagonal bridge a large mountainous range rose from the river banks. To the west a smaller mountian, probably nothing more than a large hill really, peaked a little inland, with a ridge that ran south west down to the river. King Schmo hoped that a scouting party sent along the ridge to its highest point would enable the working party to take stock and see exactly where they had come to. With any luck, the sea would be sighted for the first time since they set off.

Until next time ...
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: art128 on October 09, 2016, 09:29:45 AM
The first diagonal bridge in history. :D
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: kbieniu7 on October 09, 2016, 10:06:06 AM
Yeah, the part about the diagonal bridge as a miracle of Engineering made me laugh :D hope to read more about some other achievements of King Schmo's team.

I love the ambience of that story - wandering trough the wilderness, conquering the land laying by the wide meandering river. Personally, I live in rather mountainous part of Poland, so whenever I go to the northern part of my country I always feel amazed by hugeness of the wide forested flatlands and wide rivers. And I had the similar feeling reading this story and watching the photos! I can't wait to see the coast!
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: compdude787 on October 13, 2016, 02:45:16 PM
I like the storyline you have going here! Looking forward to the railroad reaching the sea! :)
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: siemanthepieman on October 16, 2016, 03:49:18 AM
As the working party rounded the foot of the ridge, they noted a small protected pocket on the lee side that King Schmo decided would be an ideal spot to build a small workshop and warehouse – provided the party was on track to hit the sea in the direction it was headed. King Schmo sent a scout up the ridge who returned to assure the King of two things – the sea was almost certainly less than 10 km to the north and that the top of the ridge would form an ideal footing for a substantial castle should the King decide to settle the area. That was enough for King Schmo to establish a small station at the foot of the ridge.  If nothing else, the King was tired of travelling what was now close to 40km back to Settington Inlet whenever he wanted to return home after a day on the rails with the working party.

(http://i.imgur.com/XPfjKDl.jpg)

Stores were quickly accumulated again and progress sped along once more.  North of the ridge the land was incredibly flat and the railway was able to run straight for a substantial time. 

A small curve around the foot of another hilly range …

(http://i.imgur.com/4g1nOjj.jpg)

…and then it was just a matter of the working party snaking the rail line all the way to the water’s edge. 

(http://i.imgur.com/jlaHgtl.jpg)

On 1 September 1923, King Schmo had finally reached what he was looking for. And what a perfect small port it could make. Assuming the sea was deep enough, a little excavation to open up the enclosed sea lake would provide the ideal location for the Isle’s first waterside docks.

(http://i.imgur.com/7eFgsh7.jpg)

Looking back it was a long but rather uneventful voyage. Perhaps attempts to explore further, as yet unknown, regions of the Isle would throw up some more adventure. There is certainly plenty of unexplored alpine country to the north west and the south east of King Schmo II’s rail line to the port. Perhaps once King Schmo I learnt of the fortification at Settington Inlet and had to pay his first toll to access the port that was meant to be established in his own name there might be some recriminations for King Schmo II. Who knows, maybe one of his younger brothers will want some of the Isle’s turf for their own as well.

(http://i.imgur.com/04FLihQ.jpg)

But King Schmo did not dwell on the lack of excitement the last 20 years of rail building had provided. He was looking to the future. He wanted to establish himself as the King of his own region and force his father to feed his region’s coffers by sending freight to the port. So King Schmo II established a small workers' terminus, and an equally simple three station freight terminus and immediately set to work constructing four large waterside warehouses with eight very modest docks. Nevertheless, through New Portland the Greater Isle of Schmo could now establish trade routes with the rest of the world. If it turned out that there was no other suitable port location on the Isles, King Schmo II would almost certainly be able to ensure prosperity for his regions and it peoples for years to come.

(http://i.imgur.com/zNPGrTs.jpg)
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: compdude787 on October 17, 2016, 01:36:43 PM
I like how you did the railroad! It's great to see that King Schmo II found a port for himself. I'm really liking the storyline so far; keep up the good work!
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: FrankU on October 18, 2016, 02:51:34 AM
Nice story and beautiful region you have here.
Does King Schmo have a theory about the squares his world is divided into? Is it maybe a base for some religious philosophies?
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: noahclem on October 18, 2016, 12:01:08 PM
Lovely start to your MD  &apls  I enjoy the landscape and smooth transit networks--and had a good laugh at your diagonal bridge technology, which is a harder technology to master than it sounds like :D
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: kbieniu7 on October 31, 2016, 03:32:36 PM
Uh... this single straight stretch of the railway is mindblowing!
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: siemanthepieman on November 06, 2016, 04:06:13 AM
REPLIES:

compdude787: Thank you. After all that time laying tracks King Schmo was very pleased to finally hit water.

FrankU: Thank you. I cannot take any credit for the excellent region - it is one of drunkapple's marvellous creations. King Schmo has no theory about the little squares - they are just the result of a Mayor who is still picking up all the tips and tricks of MD'ing. I 'banked up' a few photos before starting my MD so the grid will be around a little longer but eventually you will see that I learned to try to make sure I switch the grid off before snapping away. At some stage, I might even learn how to disable the UDI balloons. Hopefully at some stage my diary will even get up to scratch with the rest of them on here!

noahclem: I have been actually reading through your siilijoki MD these last few days - what a fine inspiration it is. My transit network might be smooth, but is nothing on yours.

kbieniu7: Sometimes, if the terrain allows it there is no way to go but straight ahead!

UPDATE 4: The establishment of the Establishment at Bran Castle

Of course, the King had no interest in living anywhere too close to the port, nor the workers who would inevitably come. And so Bran Castle was built atop the rigde where, sure enough, it turned out the scout who assured the King of an excellent footing was absolutely correct. It was quite a task constructing the road to the top, but well worth it for the views it afforded from the upper levels of the Kings new home.

4.1
(http://i.imgur.com/vyKE0f6.jpg)

It wasn’t long before industry started filling in around the docks and a dirt road was built to follow the railway lines back to Bran Castle.

4.2
(http://i.imgur.com/VHLXe81.jpg)

4.3
(http://i.imgur.com/0syyVnu.jpg)

Virtually overnight, industry took hold in New Portland and it wasn’t long before the industrial demand outstripped the accommodation that the small rail side worker’s huts could provide.

4.4
(http://i.imgur.com/D3hVEAH.jpg)

Like the King, no one wanted to live too close to the newly developing port.  For one thing, it was clear that the port and its surrounding industry would eventually expand to cover a substantial area – and who would want to end living in the middle of an industrial park? – and it was probably less than 10 kilometres back to the foot of Bran Castle. It was an uneven and snaking road but the general consensus was that the commute was, or in the future would be, worth it.

At this time, about 1926, the King was erecting a substantial wall around his castle and he invited his earliest and most loyal workers and industrialists to settle within the walls of his immediate domain. If nothing else, he was sure King Schmo I would become decidedly displeased with his plans to start his own kingdom at some time in the future and he felt safer having an impromptu army of troops at his doorstep.  In fact the King even offered a great number of ‘free’ quarter acre and half acre blocks to anyone willing to build within his castle walls.  Of course, the land offered was offered as a fief – so the workers were actually obliged to fight for the King if ever required – although they were also paid for the work they performed in their jobs at the port (they had to be able to pay their taxes after all!).

4.5
(http://i.imgur.com/6qFNW15.jpg)

Next update we will probably have a look at what the township that developed inside King Schmo's castle wall looks like today.

COMMENTS:
You'll see in picture 4.2 and 4.4 a couple of my very first experiments in the Lot Editor. I didn't like having to leave a one tile gap between deadwood's excellent rail utility lots so I jumped on in to the LE to group 3 or 4 of his little lots into larger lots. My other foray into the LE can be seen in the first picture of my previous update - where I removed the passenger station from one of cogeo's Rural Train Station lots so that it was basically just a freight yard. I am quite pleased with the outcome but, sadly, it has now been so long since I did it that trying again would be like doing it for the first time all over again (plus I have changed machines so have to re-download the program, etc). I will do it at some stage (there are some lots I'd really like to tweak) but not sure when. At the moment, the plan is to build the region on a broad level, then go back in and tweak and detail, etc.


Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: art128 on November 06, 2016, 01:00:30 PM
Nicely done. Now the king can overlook the whole region from his bedroom. :)
It just needs some farmlands around the walls and it will be perfect.
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: kbieniu7 on November 07, 2016, 11:55:37 AM
Yes, I repeat Arthur, fields! Fields is what is needed there! Hectars of wheat, that shines in the golden rays of sun!  ;D

I understand this dillema between choosing details or broader sights... it's a tough decision!
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: siemanthepieman on December 12, 2016, 05:32:12 AM
REPLIES

art128 &kbieniu7 You are both going to like and then be bitterly disappointed with the field situation just beyond the castle walls. Stay tuned to see what happens in that respect...

UPDATE 5: Bran Castle today (or a little while ago at least)

The oldest neighbourhood in Bran Castle underwent a number of developments in its early years – right up until settlement outside the castle walls became commonplace when it settled down. It is one of the few neighbourhoods where all of the various classes of workers lived together, although it was pretty clear from the houses in which they lived who fell where on the pecking order at work.

5.1 - Across the top of this picture you can see the 'Management W2W's' that were filled by middle management workers and then the 'real workers' row houses in the middle
(http://i.imgur.com/BeSEKe3.jpg)

5.2 - Across the top and down the left of this picture you can see the homes given to those who were the biggest help in building the rails to the Port. The 'U' shaped assortment of simple homes are even today fiercely held by the region's first workers - the warehousemen of the first docks of New Portland. They are simply homes but with a rich heritage and in a prime location.
(http://i.imgur.com/ES07R8k.jpg)

5.3 - An overview from some years ago of the region's first neighbourhood. Today the common between the row houses is somewhat more leafy.
(http://i.imgur.com/ZrjOpkJ.jpg)

5.4 - Back around to the eastern side of Bran Castle, a corner of soon to be ‘swisher’ homes in what would become a slightly more leafy suburb established. 
(http://i.imgur.com/SgTK7aI.jpg)

5.5 - Eventually, but still much sooner than in most other parts of the region, gravel roads were laid. The homes were grew bigger and nicer than in other parts of 'the hood' within the castle walls and the region's first school was established. Later it became home to one of the region's first round-a-bouts, a small commercial hub and some small but useful civic services.
(http://i.imgur.com/OecPuqf.jpg)

5.6 - There are some really quite nice houses amongst the humble workers huts as we move toward the castle walls.
(http://i.imgur.com/XhSpLMa.jpg)

5.7
(http://i.imgur.com/baHjnKd.jpg)

5.8
(http://i.imgur.com/jF5KTOy.jpg)

More from inside the castle walls (and beyond!) shortly...

Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: compdude787 on December 12, 2016, 02:30:09 PM
Wow, looks nice! Where did you get that fire station in picture 5.5?
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: siemanthepieman on December 20, 2016, 04:36:00 AM
REPLIES

compdude787:
Thanks. The fire station is by Shmails - http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/17750-shmails-small-firehouse/ (http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/17750-shmails-small-firehouse/). He also does a matching cop shop - http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/17741-shmails-sheriff-stations/ (http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/17741-shmails-sheriff-stations/) - and clinic - http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/17766-shmails-small-clinic/ (http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/17766-shmails-small-clinic/).

One of my next modding exercises will probably be to make the radius and capacity on each of these lots large enough to service a full large tile. Does anyone know if I have to delete all existing lots in game before plopping the new ones if I do so?

UPDATE 6
It wasn’t long at all before backroads started branching of the ‘main’ road back to Bran Castle and the ‘backyard’ of New Portland started coming to life.

6.1
(http://i.imgur.com/aSEhzQw.jpg)

The King also started ‘selling’ land on leasehold terms outside the castle walls. Those that could afford to started finding more isolated pockets of idyllic countryside along the Simoleon River to build their homes. Scattered amongst those homes were the region’s first ‘shacks’ or holiday homes, owned by those who had found new and incredible wealth as the owners of the region’s blossoming industrial powerhouses.

6.2
(http://i.imgur.com/Gq7spSb.jpg)

Of course, when the Greater Isle was first settled, it relied on a band of dedicated farmers to provide the bulk of its produce. But none of the farmers came with King Schmo II to New Portland. It wasn’t long before a small group of entrepreneurs, if you could call them that – harking back, as they were, to the agricultural ways of days gone by – saw how much food was now getting imported to Bran Castle from Schmotenton that they decided to set up a small community some distance beyond the castle walls (they wanted to ensure they remained in clean country air as Bran Castle grew) and developed a small farming community. Before long, Bran Castle had a number of farms only a couple of kilometres from its town limits.

6.3
(http://i.imgur.com/HtWvliP.jpg)

6.4 - The region’s first farmhouse
(http://i.imgur.com/SMeEf0k.jpg)


6.5 - It was only about 5 years until the agricultural belt had grown to this…
(http://i.imgur.com/dXI8brL.jpg)

Sadly, the agricultural belt’s days were numbered … but you’ll have to stay tuned to see what comes of it.



Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: kbieniu7 on December 27, 2016, 08:31:30 AM
I have really strange feeling when looking at theese modern houses and building inside city walls, heh... the originality of your MD :D Anyway, I think that those small maxis' w2ws fits well in there.
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: siemanthepieman on January 08, 2017, 05:39:32 AM
REPLIES

kbieniu7 Strange it may be, but you have to remember, this construction was only as far back as the 1920's and 30's. I am not sure what is more strange for that time, the houses that were built, or the wall itself. Also, by and large, this is a naturally grown region. I am plopping some industrials and commercials but, so far, no residentials. Just that row of Maxis W2W's took a long time to grow, bulldoze, grow, mark historical, repeat. I have since added some more custom residentials to my plugins, but could always use more.

UPDATE 7
The industrial boom brought Bran Castle huge growth, soon the castle walls were full to bursting – and the residents, at least those running some of the more advanced industrial enterprises down at the port, were bursting with amazing ideas of new technologies and building techniques.

It wasn’t long (about 1936 the story is told) before King Schmo decided to stretch his castle walls a little. There was already a small opening where ‘the farmers’ had broken a dirt road through to the north-east anyway and, at least in part due to swelling rumours of King Schmo I’s increasing resentment of the tariffs he was paying to export goods from Schmotenton to New Portland and beyond, King Schmo II wanted a few extra vassals to whom he could grant a fief in return for their willingness to defend his realm should the need arise.

7.1
(http://i.imgur.com/BEMdBrK.jpg)

As you can see, some of the commercial development that initially sprung up just outside the original town limits was literally quite ‘out of this world’ and looked like it belonged about 70 years in the future. In the future, the development in this area would actually come to take on a more historical feel and the area would actually become known as Bran Castle Old Town.

The King also decided to expand the walls on the north western corner so that they encompassed a small section of the railway line that originally ran just outside the wall. Although the rail line was already fairly busy with freight coming from Schmotenton, the King bowed to increasing commuter pressure and ordered a small branch line be brought inside the original walls and a passenger station to be constructed.

7.2
(http://i.imgur.com/Vk1plw3.jpg)

The junction right next to the rail crossing and main entrance to town was obviously prime real estate for some commercial development and it wasn’t long until a few more ‘ahead of their time’ commercial boutiques popped up lining the main road. The initial dual track entrance to the main line quickly became unwieldy with the switches and other rail traffic monitoring systems that the King had in place before 1936 and so the entrance to the main line was quickly remodelled to restrict passenger trains to one side only of the lines running to the port. Freight was still allowed to run on the ‘passenger line’ outside of commuter hours but a switch just before the line hit Bran Castle meant that, in practice, all freight from Bran Castle to the Port was segregated from the passenger traffic.

By 1938 the station and line looked like this (and ran express to New Portland – not one other station on the way!).

7.3
(http://i.imgur.com/COR6bFJ.jpg)

It was about this time also that there established the first little ‘very-well-to-do’ neighbourhood within the castle walls, a leafy corner back around towards the Crossing where the region’s first substantial homes were clustered all together so that the lucky owners could walk home from the numerous boozy dinner parties that they became accustomed to attend. 

7.4 - It quickly went from this …
(http://i.imgur.com/TeIWA3T.jpg)

7.5 - … to this …
(http://i.imgur.com/SpEl0QB.jpg)

7.6
(http://i.imgur.com/mkx5wMt.jpg)

7.7
(http://i.imgur.com/vpDoYq9.jpg)

7.8
(http://i.imgur.com/aMmmgbY.jpg)

7.9
(http://i.imgur.com/NAmqcRU.jpg)

If you were working in senior management at any of New Portland’s many successful businesses, this was the place to live. Whilst there would surely be many more posh neighbourhoods develop in and around Bran Castle, in the early days this was where the livin’ was at! 

 

Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: kbieniu7 on January 10, 2017, 01:08:20 PM
Luxury pops out in the city! :D Good to see some improvements on the railline, never too much of raillines!

By the way - you could turn off the pause frame and U-Drive-It icons while taking a picture ;)
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: vortext on January 10, 2017, 01:58:37 PM
Hm, your MD has been flying under my radar it seems.  :-[

Awesome region so far, is it an existing one or are you making it by hand as you go? Either way, looking forward to a complete picture.  :thumbsup: And great work laying down the railway tracks, commendable enterprise by the King!  :D

Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: art128 on January 11, 2017, 02:23:56 AM
Ah, finally the wealthy people can feel safe and rich at the same time!
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: siemanthepieman on January 11, 2017, 06:36:11 AM
REPLIES

kbieniu7: Thanks. I remember seeing a mod or cheat that lets you turn of the UDI icon - and I have been meaning to find it and remember to do it. Thanks for reminding me. I am not sure how turn off the pause frame. Perhaps I will just take shots without pausing.

Vortex: Thanks, but sadly I can take no credit for the region - it is 'Chilliwack' by dunkapple. All I have done is add trees as I have rendered the tiles and named cities. You will have to keep following along for a few more updates before you get some more full region shots (and even then you still won't quite get to see it all).

art128: Safe and rich - how we'd all like to be!

UPDATE 8

The 1940’s saw things really take off around Bran Castle and the port. For starters, the region’s first stretch of highway was laid. Construction started just beyond the extended castle walls …

8.1
(http://i.imgur.com/tllvfYW.jpg)

8.2 - … and slowly …
(http://i.imgur.com/jjzbDql.jpg)

… snaked its way to the port. The highway was the first bitumised road beyond the original castle walls – it wasn’t really bitumised but was made of tar-bound macadam, which was close enough for the 40’s – and it decreased the commute for those who drove their own vehicles to work significantly. The King had plans in the future to bitumise most of the road network in his realm, but (leaving aside the fact that he was a bit of miser!) he wanted to ensure that the burgeoning industry didn’t run out of commodities such as coal and tar whilst it was still undergoing rapid development.

8.3
(http://i.imgur.com/iBMUGRL.jpg)

8.4 - He also needed to keep some stocks for what was to arrive next in New Portland – large scale power generation!
(http://i.imgur.com/SpMW8md.jpg)
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: compdude787 on January 12, 2017, 12:51:23 AM
That's cool, now there's a highway and two power plants! It's neat to see your region becoming more modern.
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: kbieniu7 on January 12, 2017, 03:36:26 PM
Road infastructure, yay! Wish to see years of building an impressive network by the royal engineers!

I really like how you aligned the road parallel to existing railline, that looks excellent! :)
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: MushyMushy on January 12, 2017, 03:52:51 PM
Looks nice!

The UDI icons can be turned off in the in-game UDI menus somewhere, no mods or cheats required. You can get ride of the yellow pause graphic with this handy mod: http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/18680-smp-yellow-pause-thingy-remover/ (http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/18680-smp-yellow-pause-thingy-remover/)
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: siemanthepieman on January 20, 2017, 05:56:42 AM
I thought I would post a small update because a) there are a couple of replies to reply to and b) I have started to get a little bit into lotting and I have a couple of questions to ask.

REPLIES

compdude787 & kbieniu: Thanks for the kind words and (ongoing) encouragement.

MushyMushy: Thank you. I found the UDI switch in game. I also found the 'pause thingy remover' download but have just been taking shots with the sim running so far - it seems that the visible traffic is greater while the sim is running too. You'll all have to bear with me though for the next few updates at least, some of my pictures were taken some time ago - so they have UDI's, pause frames, the grid, even the menu bar from time to time!

LOTTING QUESTIONS
Quite some time ago I tried my hand at re-lotting a few railway stations and I increased the power/radius of a clinic and powerplant or two. I have recently download the LE, Reader and Pim-X again and started to make a few new lots.

9.a - I started small, putting a Shmails/Jenx fire station on cobblestone streets.
(http://i.imgur.com/InDZ8gR.jpg)

9.b - I also made my first growable lots from some of Haarlemmergold's models.
(http://i.imgur.com/XIxP8Th.jpg)

But the reason I really got back into lotting was to make some more fillers - I love T-Wrecks' industrial fillers and wanted to re-texture some of them for my commercial areas (you'll see them in action later). As great as T-Wrecks' fill are though, I think there is a gap in the set in that they don't go right to the edge of diagonal roads.

9.c - So I have been using Paeng's fillers to do that job, but they don't match well enough with T-Wrecks' sets.
(http://i.imgur.com/61kGxei.jpg)

9.d - To get a bit more coherence across my industrial areas, I re-textured T-Wrecks' fillers with the texture used by Paeng (shown here but without any diagonal roads involved). I thought I could then use these fillers and Paeng's diagonal fillers whenever I was dealing with a diagonal road situation.
(http://i.imgur.com/zhqftFT.jpg)

As you can see, my newly created fillers will match Paeng's diagonal fillers, but they then clash with the textures on the industrial lots themselves. T-Wrecks' fillers match the lots much better. What I would really like to do is apply the textures used by T-Wrecks to the fillers created by Paeng.

9.e - As you can see, I can re-texture the lot itself, but that is where I get stuck.
(http://i.imgur.com/afaPClG.jpg)

And I don't know where to go from here. It seems the rest of the lot is actually a prop. Can I retexture that or do I need to make my own prop? And if so, how? Is it something someone new to lotting can do? I don't even know which program I should be reading the readme's for to see if I can do it. If someone could just point in the right direction I would be indebted.

I'd also really like to make a cheat of sorts by increasing the capacity for the landfill lots  I have had a look at the properties in Reader but can't see where I could do it. I want to do this is because I think that it is the landfill capacity that sets the limits for the neighbour deals for trash (ie; even if you have a heap of recycling centres, if you don't have much landfill you can't import much from your neighbours? I say this because I have one tile with no trash because of all the recycling centres, but I still can't increase the import rate from a neighbouring city to the capacity I would like, even though the neighbouring city has garbage piling up and heaps of monthly income for the deal).



And now on with the update - UPDATE 9

Up to 1949, New Portland and Bran Castle had been reliant upon small generators and jerry-rigged diesel powered ‘power sheds’ to provide power to its inhabitants. In 1947, King Schmo commissioned the construction of the new New Portland Docks and ground was broken for the development that year. In addition to wildly expanding the export capacity of the port (and therefore of the whole of the Greater Isles) it would also open up new import opportunities. The King saw such growth ahead that he figured a proper powerplant was required for his region. And so Port Schmo Coal Co. Inc. was founded and construction of a new powerplant commenced. To start with, the needs of the region meant that the plant ran at nowhere near capacity, such that coal could be trucked in and stored in a relatively small number of storage sheds close by. But the King had a vision that, one day, coal would arrive at port in large tankers and be carried to the plant by train. It was likely that by the time the plant was a full capacity, massive storage mounds of coal would have to be maintained close by.

The Port Schmo Coal Co. Inc. power plant and the docks of the Port Schmo Shipping Co. opened on the same day. The King, of course, had substantial financial interests in each. The docks were small but efficient, well serviced by both road and rail. The dock exported a lot more than came in, so much so that the dock was initially open for import business on Mondays only. Tuesday through Saturday it was used for export business (90% of which was from Schmotenton and was therefore bringing the King and the region a handsome income) and on Sundays it closed. The port was so efficient that, by and large, goods were transported to dockside in 40ft shipping containers and loaded directly onto awaiting ships. This meant that the need for dockside storage and warehousing facilities was minimised.

9.1
(http://i.imgur.com/nhMdd15.jpg)

9.2 - By the time the dock and the plant were completed, New Portland looked like this:
(http://i.imgur.com/jH4lvEh.jpg)

We’ll come back to look at the port and plant in more detail later.
About this time passenger rail was completely segregated from freight onto its own line. A handsome station was built near the powerplant to help get the workers (who were now flocking to the region in droves) to and from work each day.

9.3
(http://i.imgur.com/xqBkjlC.jpg)

The passenger line ran pretty straight and, with no stations between Bran Castle and the plant, the trip only took 8 minutes each way. With that, Bran Castle was set for a population explosion!
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: compdude787 on January 20, 2017, 03:58:55 PM
Your city is really coming along! The docks look nice!! Though if you want to be historically accurate, containerized shipping didn't really come into vogue until the 1960s IRL.
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: kbieniu7 on January 20, 2017, 05:06:03 PM
Regarding your question about diagonal fillers, I've never used Paeng's textures, but from what I can see at your screens, those triangle sections are indeed a prop. In such case, you cannot modify them in Lot Editor and you would need to make a new prop. To make this, you need to model such triangle and put a proper texture onto in. A program that allows model making is gmax with a plugin called Building Architect Tool (BAT). There should be plenty of tutorials and how-to's around sc4devotion and simtropolis.

And the update is cool! Impressive to see how big it has developed, when not so long ago it was just a small village  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: siemanthepieman on January 29, 2017, 05:40:41 AM
REPIES

compdude787: Thanks. It may just be that the Port Schmo Shipping Co. invented containerised shipping as the world knows it today. It only makes sense that it would take about 11 years for it to catch on in the rest of the world. If you check the history of the ship mentioned in the update below you will see I have taken some artistic licence with real life dates for this MD.

kbieniu7: Thank you for your push in the right direction. See below for an update on my lotting adventures.

LOTTING ADVENTURES
Okay, so I have spent plenty of time working on my region, but not much time at all actually playing it recently. First I spent most of a weekend (broken bits between looking after the kids, mowing the lawn, etc!) downloading and/or reacquainting myself with 3DS Max (I teach a Uni course = free licence = Yay!), GMax, the BAT gamepack, Reader, LE, LEProp, PIM, PIM-X and a FSH conversion tool and Photoshop.

I spent the rest of the weekend reading tutorials and trying to work out how to create my own overhanging prop in GMax. After quite a bit of fiddling around I almost got there. At the very least, I managed to make a prop and to add it to a lot and to get it in game. No mean feat for a first timer with the BAT really.

10.a - So here was my problem - gaps on diagonals with T-Wrecks IRM fillers
(http://i.imgur.com/wOiGMVv.jpg)

10.b - And only Nightowls' fillers to fill them with (I think I attributed these fillers to Paeng earlier, sorry Nightowls!)
(http://i.imgur.com/Bcj8bfL.jpg)

10.c - My very first prop in game. The texture is way off but otherwise not bad.
(http://i.imgur.com/8p53A32.jpg)

10.d - After some trial and error, the texture is finally a pretty good match.
(http://i.imgur.com/YiJOGaS.jpg)

10.e - But what about the even bigger gaps on the other side of the road.
(http://i.imgur.com/gxCoYCX.jpg)

10.f - An even bigger overhanging prop, of course.
(http://i.imgur.com/t48BMs3.jpg)

10.g - And as with everything you do yourself ... perfect! Just what I wanted.
(http://i.imgur.com/SxoO91r.jpg)

10.h - Or so I thought. After my apparent success with the ID fillers, I went ahead and created a set of IM fillers. But when I put them in game, where were they? You can see the lot about to be plopped, but the overhanging prop on all the others is covered by the roadside terrain texture.
(http://i.imgur.com/IyDiWtp.jpg)
 
10.i - A closer look.
(http://i.imgur.com/nagHKKJ.jpg)

10.j - I eventually found a work around (of sorts) by extruding the prop model to 15cm (it was originally 0). This works if the terrain is dead level, but you can see the little lip created by the extra height from some angles.
(http://i.imgur.com/QdOBOkK.jpg)

If anyone has any better way to overcome this problem I would be grateful to hear how I could do it. Also, is there any way to match a prop texture perfectly to an in-game texture other than (lots) of trial and error. You can see that my IM texture is not a very good match yet and I wonder if there is an easier way than setting brightness in Photoshop, applying in Gmax, exporting, checking in game, repeat!

UPDATE 10

News of Bran Castle’s untold promise (and unsurpassed passenger commute by rail to and from the Port) got back to Schmotenton and new workers moved over and residential development went positively bonkers. Of course, by this time, the King had gotten quite a taste for having a substantial vault of simoleons. In fact, rumour initially had it that the hill upon which the King’s castle was built was slowly sinking due to the number of simoleons stashed away by the King. Later, rumour came to have it that the hill was actually growing – due to all the simoleons the King had buried under his castle! Whatever the rumours, the King did enjoy collecting simoleons from his subjects. And so he started allowing more and more Sims to settle outside the castle walls. Unlike the pristine and picturesque country along the riverside – of which the King wanted to keep true ownership for himself so only let his subjects settle on a leasehold basis – the King started selling off hundreds of quarter acre blocks just outside the castle walls.

The King had also by then started acquiring interests in various of the industrial businesses now flocking to the area just behind the port, one of which was a sort of ‘kit home’ builder. And so the King came to really pioneer the ‘house and land package’ idea that would see whole new Edward Scissorhands type suburbs pop up the world over in the decades to come. He offered a two story kit home for just 99 simoleons with every quarter acre purchased. 

10.1 – The kit home was popular.
(http://i.imgur.com/TDuAqXA.jpg)

10.2 …
(http://i.imgur.com/2LkWsfY.jpg)

10.3 – Very popular!
(http://i.imgur.com/ugvk9d7.jpg)

10.4 - Every now and then someone from management with a bit more money than everyone else would purchase a bunch of blocks and build a stonking big mansion (complete with a palm tree lined driveway) among the minions.
(http://i.imgur.com/rpd2O1m.jpg)
 
10.5
(http://i.imgur.com/UyTW2eq.jpg)

10.6
(http://i.imgur.com/bpkUjKs.jpg)

10.7
(http://i.imgur.com/lZMHokC.jpg)

10.8
(http://i.imgur.com/NGFWYG8.jpg)

10.9
(http://i.imgur.com/CjJhvoQ.jpg)

10.10 – A couple more palm tree lined driveway mansions nestled in amongst the masses. And kit homes running all the way to the Ag-Belt.
(http://i.imgur.com/ggfzY0a.jpg)
 
10.11 - As you can see, education wasn’t entirely overlooked in Bran Castle anymore (there is the high school in the picture below and you may have noticed the primary school in picture 10.4 and 10.9) and, indeed, a good education was becoming highly valued for the children of the increasingly large middle class of Bran Castle.
(http://i.imgur.com/2CE3byv.jpg)
 
10.12 - Eventually, as far as the eye could see, even from the lofty heights of Bran Castle itself, two story pre-fab homes filled the plains in neat orderly rows between the castle walls and New Portland.
(http://i.imgur.com/t86GkYF.jpg)

Eventually, new kit homes were released and new suburbs full of rows of different houses all the same popped up around the Castle.

10.13
(http://i.imgur.com/arwo5i8.jpg)

10.14
(http://i.imgur.com/FO8y6h6.jpg)

The new port meant that Bran Castle and the Greater Isles had access to the rest to rest of the world for the first time. Although travel was not really an option for the average (or even very wealthy) sim in the 50’s, the King himself did manage to get ‘offshore’ every now and then and he was often seen down at the docks meeting and speaking with those who came to Bran Castle from afar.

He was fascinated by other cultures, none more so than that of Japan.

In 1957, he met and fell instantly in love with a young Japanese woman when she alighted from a ship as it was at port one day.  Her name was Himeko and she was the daughter of the Captain of the Hakone Maru, Japan’s first container ship,

10.15 – In 1959 they were married, and the King commissioned a two popular series of Japanese style kit homes (series one with brown render and black roof tiles, series two, slightly more expensive, was with white render and available in a selection of roof colours) to celebrate the occasion.
(http://i.imgur.com/KkRWLHY.jpg)
 
10.16 – The ‘diagonals series’ was also popular in some areas.
(http://i.imgur.com/wobniUD.jpg)

Again, we will come back to look at these and many other suburbs in more detail later. And yes, the 'Make Historical' button has had a work out in my game.

Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: vortext on January 29, 2017, 07:19:00 AM

10.j - I eventually found a work around (of sorts) by extruding the prop model to 15cm (it was originally 0). This works if the terrain is dead level, but you can see the little lip created by the extra height from some angles.
[snip]
If anyone has any better way to overcome this problem I would be grateful to hear how I could do it. Also, is there any way to match a prop texture perfectly to an in-game texture other than (lots) of trial and error. You can see that my IM texture is not a very good match yet and I wonder if there is an easier way than setting brightness in Photoshop, applying in Gmax, exporting, checking in game, repeat!

Instead of extruding the prop height, it works slightly better imho to 1) scale width & length of the prop slightly larger than ingame dimensions and then 2) raise the prop 0.1 meter in the LE. But yeah this only works on dead flat terrain indeed. As for the color calibration between photoshop and gmax, check this tutorial by Gascooker (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=5229.msg165896#msg165896) how to go about. Though it should be noted there'll always be a slight color difference between LE textures and props.

Okay, so I have spent plenty of time working on my region, but not much time at all actually playing it recently.

And thus it has begun, welcome to the darkside where actually playing the game takes up about 5% of time spend on it.  ;D

Fillers looks great though. Also really like the organic flow of transit networks in 10.12.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: brick_mortimer on January 30, 2017, 05:49:36 AM
...And yes, the 'Make Historical' button has had a work out in my game...
LOL!

Thanks for this great MD.
In really like your storytelling, funny and a bit tongue-in-cheek  ;D

Keep up the good work! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: Nanami on February 01, 2017, 04:18:13 PM
Interesting MD so far, the way you describing the development since early 20th century until then.. also interesting how the repentance of building do looks fine here :thumbsup:. keep up the good work!

Quote
the 'Make Historical' button has had a work out in my game.
Finally someone express same feels like I do with that button!!!  $%Grinno$%
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: compdude787 on February 01, 2017, 06:41:11 PM
Wow, that looks nice! It looks good in spite of the amount of repetition.
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: siemanthepieman on February 13, 2017, 05:13:35 AM
REPLIES

vortext: Thanks for those couple of tips. I have been playing in LE more than gmax the last little while but also trying to enjoy just playing my region with what content I've got.

brick_mortimer, Nanami and compdude787: Thanks for the comments and encouragement.

UPDATE 11

By 1950, two new stations had been added to the passenger line to New Portland.

11.1 – The very first station built, the one inside the original castle walls, continued to be in use and was known as ‘Bran Station Proper’ or ‘Bran Proper’ for short. The viaduct that was eventually built to avoid multiple road and rail crossings as it got out of town was so steep that it was actually faster to walk to the main station (just out of shot to the top) but Bran Proper remained in use and popular as a status thing (if you caught the train from Bran Proper it generally meant you lived inside the original castle walls) and also for prosperity’s sake.
(http://i.imgur.com/5leVDsl.jpg)

11.2 – Bran Castle Central Station or ‘Bran Central’ as it was known, was only about 250 metres from Bran Proper but was a large station that could service the region’s needs – not just the line to New Portland but other lines and services to the rest of the region as the region grew. It was well serviced by small commercial boutiques along the surrounding streets and benefitted from a lovely park full of walking trails right out front. Parking was limited to encourage residents to leave their cars at home and walk to the station.
(http://i.imgur.com/LOA0vNk.jpg)

11.3 – Suburbiton Station was developed alongside a small commercial hub and residential area that built up just on the outskirts of Bran Castle and was effectively a mid-point between Bran Central and the station next to the powerplant. It too was well serviced by nearby commercial development and it had a substantial car park. It quickly became a popular ‘park and ride’ as well as serving as a gateway to north-eastern parts of the region.
(http://i.imgur.com/Ddud611.jpg)

11.4 – The New Portland Terminus was a much larger station than required at the time of its construction. But unlike stations in residential areas – where the King would always be happy enough to raze a few houses to build something bigger – the King wanted to ensure that the station built to service his port was ‘future proofed’. He didn’t want to have to acquire and demolish valuable industrial businesses to rework a passenger station or rail line as it came in to the port, especially as it was so close to the region's power station. A row of bus stops right out front ensured that the workers wouldn't have to wait long to whisked away to start in whatever grimy factory awaited them each day.
(http://i.imgur.com/bgsrMnr.jpg)

Naturally, the rail service to the Port ensured that industry kept expanding. By 1950, the backroads of the Port were knocking on the door of Bran Castle.

11.5 – You can see a little remnant of the old dirt road that the highway replaced in the bottom left!
(http://i.imgur.com/SwshMgz.jpg)

You'll see Bran Proper Station again in a few updates time - keep an eye for a few little improvements to its surrounds.
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: art128 on February 13, 2017, 06:56:09 AM
Absolutely great work on the last couple updates. As per usual the story telling is simply fantastic, and to think that it's all mostly naturally grown. The city is getting bigger and bigger... I wonder when the first skyscraper will be built. :)
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: brick_mortimer on February 14, 2017, 02:00:57 AM
...11.5 – You can see a little remnant of the old dirt road that the highway replaced in the bottom left!...
It are these kind of details that make a city look realistic :thumbsup::
Bendy dirt roads are converted into paved straight roads and small stretches of the old road are left behind.

I try to do the same in my cities, imagening where the roads "used to be" before I lay down my roads ;)
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: kbieniu7 on March 07, 2017, 12:27:58 PM
...11.5 – You can see a little remnant of the old dirt road that the highway replaced in the bottom left!...
It are these kind of details that make a city look realistic :thumbsup::
Bendy dirt roads are converted into paved straight roads and small stretches of the old road are left behind.

I try to do the same in my cities, imagening where the roads "used to be" before I lay down my roads ;)

Agreed! That's one of those points that shows the attention to layout details and historical continuity  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: siemanthepieman on March 16, 2017, 05:03:50 AM
REPLIES: Thank you all for the kind comments (and the 'likes' too). I am glad you liked the road remnant (I almost bulldozed it) and are enjoying the MD. I am having fun building and creating it.

I apologise in advance for some of the low quality pictures in the update that follows (eg; 12.2). Back when I took some of them was a while ago and I hadn't realised that the 'print screen' function was a much better way of taking pictures than the in-game camera.

UPDATE 12
For almost 40 years the fervour of the town’s development, the rapid industrial expansion and the general excitement brought by the people who were moving there was enough to keep the King’s subjects (and, indeed, the King himself) just happy working hard and living somewhere ‘new’.

But of course nearly all of the industrial work was dirty, labour intensive work and there was nowhere to shop. The ‘well-to-doers’ soon demanded a downtown – or a commercial centre at least. 10 years after the idea was first floated, the location of a new city centre was agreed upon – curiously not near the centre of anything. It was, however, a lovely location with potential for beautiful views across the river.  It was also very conveniently located to the wealthiest neighbourhood of Bran Castle (where many of the residents having made their fortunes in the industrial boom were now living) and close to the road that came down the hill from the King’s castle.  And that made sense, they were the ones with the well-educated children who would refuse to work in the dirty industries at the port and they were the ones with the money to spend on shopping trips and various commercial services.

12.1 - The little group of workers engaged to build the new commercial centre built up a small little community half way between the new construction and Bran Castle itself – sure to become highly valuable real estate in no time!
(http://i.imgur.com/bYdCtrO.jpg)

12.2
(http://i.imgur.com/xIQvRQd.jpg)

12.3 – No sooner were the first workers settled than work began.
(http://i.imgur.com/hGiSrAZ.jpg)

12.4 - It wasn’t long before big business (by Bran Castle standards at least) settled in and the dirt roads were relaid with cobblestones.
(http://i.imgur.com/WlNoLr7.jpg)

12.5 – Cobblestone plazas followed. The King insisted that the downtown be fairly open to start with so that glimmers of sunshine could still manage to get through and hit the pavers even once much taller buildings populated the city skyline.
(http://i.imgur.com/MgqWdWQ.jpg)

King Schhmo, having made his way to the Port and built his kingdom thanks to the power or rail travel, wanted to ensure the new business district was well served by rail. In fact, he wanted to ensure that his whole kingdom was well served by a wide spanning rail system well in to the future, and so commissioned a rail station (two in fact) and a city loop far in excess of what was required of the business district at that time.
12.6 -
(http://i.imgur.com/ThYDBhs.jpg)

12.7 - Such was the power demand of the new station and the ongoing contruction across the banks that the district was plagued by power shortages for a short while.
(http://i.imgur.com/keCcVql.jpg)

Soon the district became more settled and, for the first time, office work was a real and viable alternative for the working classes of Bran Castle and its surrounds. For a long time the city was troubled by some group called the Nintendo Corporation. It would purchase a tiny block of land, seemingly with the intention of building a small, low rise office block and then build a behemoth office tower, much of it encroaching beyond the boundaries of the land allotted to it. It was always, of course, out of place, no one liked it and it could not support itself servicing the relatively small communities in which it set up shop. It would eventually fail to pay its taxes and the King would order that the building be demolished (ahh, the perks of being royalty). Of course, the company itself was convinced that there was a market for these things it called ‘gaming consoles’ and kept puchasing land under various similar but different corporate identities and building its bloody office tower. For a while there, the King felt like he was demolishing a Nintendo tower every week or two.

12.8 -
(http://i.imgur.com/x4GHcTQ.jpg)

12.9 - By 1962, downtown was finished and the region looked something like this …
(http://i.imgur.com/Tq1gy41.jpg)

12.10 – Transport map.
(http://i.imgur.com/ExA421e.jpg)

Initially the commercial businesses that came to fill downtown actually had some trouble sustaining themselves – there just wasn’t the population to fill all of the industrial positions in the Port, the commercial jobs around Bran Castle and downtown and have enough residents left over to actually fill the shops and offices with customers.

12.11 - The King soon realised he had become too enamoured with the space that the vast region he had conquered provided. His city felt big – and it was in terms of its footprint – but it just didn’t have that many people in it and all of its various components (industry, agriculture, business and residential) were very separate and too spread out  (turns out he should have listened to that damned advisor that was always warning him about spreading his city too thin!)
(http://i.imgur.com/4mS1L9v.jpg)

… and he decided to start to focus on filling up his region with residents.
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: Nanami on March 21, 2017, 11:23:56 AM
Interesting update! apparently the king encourage the citizens to use the rail instead of road, seeing how the road connection outside the commercial district still made by dirt as I see in picture 12.11
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: siemanthepieman on April 08, 2017, 03:57:26 PM
REPLIES

Nanami: Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, the King is miserly with his heavy materials and compounds such as coal, tar and ashphalt.

UPDATE 13

Such was his love for rail transport, King Schmo developed a novel method of suburban expansion. He would commission the construction of new terminus stations in areas that he thought were ripe for development and then offer land and handsome tax concessions to entice his subjects to build there.

13.1 – Donnington Station (to the left) and Peko-Wallsend Central (to the right) were your typical example – both circa 1964
(http://i.imgur.com/Ek6KHwD.jpg)

And it worked quite well.

13.2 – Port’s Corner Station (station built 1963, photo circa 1965)
(http://i.imgur.com/FMkxOic.jpg)

13.3 – Blackforest Terminus (station built 1962, circa 1966)
(http://i.imgur.com/ZfaS50D.jpg)

13.4 – Peko-Wallsend Central (circa 1967) – this area, along with Donnington below, was one of the real successes with this method of regional development. Indeed Peko-Wallsend was the first area in the region to have any really substantial high rise residential development.
(http://i.imgur.com/2SZcunJ.jpg)

13.5 – Donnington Station (circa 1967/68)
(http://i.imgur.com/EPa4ijU.jpg)

13.6 – East Crossington Station (station built 1972, photo circa 1976)
(http://i.imgur.com/T0rfgNZ.jpg)

13.7 - This method of suburban expansion saw Bran Castle and its surrounds go from this in 1962 at the completion of downtown …
(http://i.imgur.com/4372Erd.jpg)
 
13.8 – To this in about 1968 …
 (http://i.imgur.com/rNrlh54.jpg)

13.9 – To this in 1976
(http://i.imgur.com/V6Ju61i.jpg)

And the King wasn’t finished there …

Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: art128 on April 09, 2017, 01:21:08 AM
The natural growth of your region is splendid. The King is really doing good work with all the railways.
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: brick_mortimer on April 10, 2017, 04:46:57 AM
You region is coming along nicely.
This will be a massive city when everything starts filling in / rising up  :)
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: siemanthepieman on April 22, 2017, 05:41:50 AM
REPLIES: Thanks art128 and brick_mortimer. I certainly plan to fill in the region. I am not sure that it will ever get super high density or 'massive', at least not by comparison to some.

UPDATE 14 (Warning: text heavy)
In 1972, King Schmo issued three Orders – 1, the construction of two rail lines, one each side of the Simoleon River, to run to the north east edge of the realm and beyond, 2, the construction of a highway from the downtown business district, south across the river end then east to the edge of the realm and 3, that all agriculture be strictly confined to ‘Designated Agricultural Zones’ to the west and south of Goose Island and the Knoll, or east of the Lesser New Portland Ridge. The King’s permission was required for townships to expand beyond  500m on any given boundary and for all medium and high density development inside an agricultural zone (and permission was unlikely!). Knowing that the zone the south-west of Goose Island and the Knoll would be much harder to fill than that east of the ridge, the King offered to waive the fees for planning approval on all new homesteads and 12 months of no tax and free rail freight to Bran Castle and the Port for those who settled in Settington Inlet or on ‘the Flats’. 

14.1 - By 1980, the two rail lines had been completed and highway ran across the river but only as far as Ambleside. The regional transport map looked like this …
(http://i.imgur.com/w08nofw.jpg)

Before we follow the transportational expansion and agricultural revolution of Bran Castle, let’s have a closer look at some of the suburbs as they had developed of the first 60 years of King Schmo’s reign.

But before we do that even, let’s get ourselves properly acquainted with Bran Castle as a whole and learn a little about its somewhat curious divisional structure and system of government.

14.2 – Region wide map showing the named Shires, the metro area, designated industrial and agricultural zones, proposed development, ‘unassigned’ land and parts of the great unknown. The major geographical features are also labelled.
(http://i.imgur.com/sLbr4O8.jpg)

Obviously, King Schmo was the monarch and ultimate ruler of his kingdom. And up until at least the 1960’s he ruled in the form of an absolute monarchy – what he said went. There were no other rule makers or law makers in the land and he ruled his kingdom as any king does. And up until the 60’s at least the Shires were little more than name-holders for the areas the King passed through on his initial journey to the Port. As the agriculturalists settled following the three Orders of 1972, the King appointed a Shire Reeve to each shire, primarily to collect taxes but also to keep a little law and order beyond the metropolitan area. There were no mayors, nor any form of local or regional government in the Shires. The King made the rules (including the tax rules) and the Shire Reeves enforced them – and usually kept a little extra stipend for their troubles in doing so.  As the King retained absolute control of the state forests and the Designated Port Industrial Zone (basically New Portland but encompassing small parts of the Shires of Port’s Corner and Portsview as well), there was no Shire Reeve appointed to either area. Instead a number of well-paid ranger’s positions were created for the Royal Rangers who patrolled the state forest and there was a Royal Reeve appointed to collect all industrial taxes, rates and levies in the region (including those within the industrial parks which were notionally also within the governance of the relevant suburban mayor). The Royal Reeve was the highest paid Crown employee by quite a margin and had a right of residence in substantial quarters within Bran Castle itself or one of many other Crown residences. He (or she in more contemporary times) was also traditionally granted a 99 year lease over a block of developable Crown land of their choosing (up to 48 by 64m) upon their forced retirement at age 50. The Royal Reeve’s was a fiercely sought after position!

The Shires within the metropolitan area also did not have a Shire Reeve appointed. This was partly because these Shires were sub-divided into suburbs (some suburbs actually extended across the boundaries of more than one shire) and were much more densely populated.  Instead the King implemented a two tiered system for metropolitan Bran Castle whereby a level of governance existed within each suburb and then one across the entire metropolitan area. Of course the King retained the right of assent to all rules and laws (although there was also significant and well utilised rights of delegation) and the Metropolitan Reporting Council (the metro wide tier of governance) had the King as a member. The King’s involvement enabled the MRC to act as a sort of third tier, region wide level of governance as well because the King would advocate for and consider and agree (or veto) proposals that would have affect beyond the metro zone.
 
The local government of each suburb was headed by a mayor and deputy mayor and had an official shield, crest or seal and a flag. This means that every suburb within metropolitan Bran Castle has a splendid Mayor’s House and often an almost as splendid Deputy’s House. Most of them also have an official motto and a distinct 'vibe' (at least they like to think they do).

The mayor and deputy of each suburb are supported by 8, 16 or 24 councillors (depending on the size of the suburb) although not many suburbs have a separate council chambers.

The King elects the councillors, who then elect the mayor. The King then appoints one of the councillors as deputy mayor (basically to keep tabs on the mayor for him). Every five years an ‘election’ is held, where the people elect whether to disband their local government or to keep it. The King usually follows the wishes of his subjects but is under no obligation to do so. If the local government is disbanded, the King selects new councillors (some or all of them different from before), the councillors must elect a new mayor and the King appoints a new (or the same) deputy. 

The suburban councils, and ultimately the mayor, are responsible for the provision of all civic services within their suburb – this includes education, police and fire as well as things like churches, movie theatres, playgrounds and the like.  They are also able to designate zoning types (residential or commercial only – industrial requires permission from the King) but must seek planning approval from the MRC to designate any particular zone for anything more than low rise development. Some mayors also provide local health clinics and small hospitals (some are also run privately, of course) although there is a large, public Royal New Portland Hospital in the CDB that provides free medical treatment to all who need it.

The mayor of each suburb then gets to appoint 2 councillors (1 from a council of 8) to the Metropolitan Reporting Council. The MRC is, in large part, no more than a facilitator for service sharing amongst the suburbs. While most suburbs have at least one primary school, many of the smaller suburbs in particular do not have the funds, room or inclination to build a large high school or even full service police and fire stations. The MRC is the body that enables deals to be struck between neighbouring suburbs whereby mayors can effectively buy educational, police, fire, health and other civic services from their neighbours. It also plays and important role in metro wide (and even region wide) projects and developments, especially with respect to Bran Castle’s transport (for example, the 2 lane highway from Bran Castle to New Port would not exist nor get maintained but for the work of the MRC) power and mains water networks.

Not surprisingly, the King retained much greater oversight and control of the Shires, the state forests and the industrial zones that he did of the suburbs.  But, to be honest, the King was a small town, rural fellow at heart and didn’t care much for the provision of civic services to his urban and suburban subjects. In fact, the only reason he really cared for them at all was to the extent that they helped fill the jobs in the industrial parks he created and, in turn, his coffers.
14.3 – Map of metropolitan Bran Castle.
(http://i.imgur.com/D86jeQb.jpg)

I hope that the metropolitan map is large enough for you to read. From the next update, we’ll start working our way through some of the suburbs, starting with some of the older ones and come to some of the newer ones later on. Then we'll return to see what became of Bran Castle's agricultural districts.
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: kbieniu7 on April 22, 2017, 09:20:28 AM
Hmm, the King indeed seems to reign with kind of absolute power if he even chose local councillors. Anyway his Kingdom seems to be well managed. I missed last updates, I see a very dense suburban rail network! And not so long ago there was just one straight line going trough the wilderness!

What is more, that are nice maps you have shown us, makes easier to understand the area  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle
Post by: praiodan on April 23, 2017, 06:08:15 AM
His Majesty King Schmo certainly has a sense of meticulously planning and organizing his kingdom, and with having an absolutistic rule until very recent he certainly had a lot to care of. Since it's good to be king anyway I think it was a good idea to get rid of some micro management stuff on the local level, so King Schmo again could focus on the grander scale of things.

Also nice maps by the way.  :P :thumbsup:

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