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Author Topic: Jessamine at Twin Rivers Region  (Read 6516 times)

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Offline dedgren

Jessamine at Twin Rivers Region
« on: December 17, 2015, 01:40:33 PM »
Hi!  I'm going to cross-post over the next few days my Cities: Skylines city journal "Jessamine" from over at Simtropolis [linkie] here at SC4 Devotion.  I certainly hope you enjoy it, and perhaps become inspired through reading it to check out this great city (heh!) builder game.



Welcome to Jessamine, a Cities: Skylines quad (which is what I call the entire C:S map- the playable and unplayable areas) that is part of the Twin Rivers Region city journal here at Simtropolis.  Why just a part, you ask?  Well, right now it's the only part, but I see the future of gameplay in this wonderful city builder extending, as it did for SC4 way back in 2003, for many, many years.  Who knows what the future will bring?

Jessamine is located in the central part of the U.S. state of Kentucky on the southern edge of the Inner Bluegrass region.  It is a real-life place, and our goal in this CJ is to duplicate it in a C:S quad as closely and as realistically as we can.  To that end, we've commissioned a special U.S. Geological Service topographic map.

For those of you wanting to see it in a more legible size, here's a [linkie].

Jessamine quad is filled with interesting features, both natural and built, and this update [linkie] will take you on a pictorial journey through 12 of the most significant.  We very much hope you'll come along on what we believe will be a huge adventure.  Oh and if you do, pack a lunch.  I don't think we'll be done with Jessamine anytime in the foreseeable future.



n.b.  It took about a month to get around to starting Jessamine quad after we started this CJ.  You can get there immediately by clicking here [linkie]. -de



The original first post in Twin Rivers Region starts here.  I've made some updates and, after almost three months of CJing again here at ST, observations which appear in red italics.

Well, nine years between city journals here at ST.  That's not too bad.

I've now taken a couple of year hiatus from playing city builders.  Last spring, prepared to be disappointed, I pick up a copy of Cities: Skylines.  I can now say that, after tinkering with the game for the past couple of months, that I am disappointed... disappointed that I didn't wait a couple of years until the game and the custom content community would have realized the amazing potential the game presents.  As it is, now I'm hooked.  The game, as it stands today, has IMHO terrible flaws.  I'll note one here and then talk more about them in future posts.  See the stream in the title shot above?  If this was SC4, the streambed and banks would be full of ploppable rocks and flora.  The stream looks naked to me without them.  On the other hand, if this was SC4 the water would not be flowing downhill- an incredibly well simulated flow at that.

Hooked?  Hell, I'm landed and on the stringer.  I'll also take back that C:S has terrible flaws.  It has flaws, but what doesn't?  And, due mainly to the incredible efforts of a great modding contingent that has developed seemingly overnight, there are fewer of those flaws left on any given day.  Sure, there is still stuff for the game's creator, Colossal Order, to do.  But we're less than a year in, and I don't think that it is overly optimistic to think that CO's track record to date would indicate that we have some great things in store in the coming months.

Ploppable rocks?  Within ten days or so of this post they began appearing on the Steam Workshop.  Now there are a greater variety of stones, rocks and boulders there than ever existed in SC4.  As we go forward here in this city journal we'll be highlighting the ones we use along with the custom content makers who are giving them to us.

So, because I'm weak, I guess, I have looked past the deficits and focused on what I can do with the game right now.  If you don't want to listen to me whining though, probably a lot, you might want to skip this CJ.  I don't intend to be satisfied with C:S as it stands today or on any given day.  This game could be SC4's worthy successor.  If I can help make it that way, I will.

Cities: Skylines is SC4's worthy successor.  I got over it, although SC4 will always be my first love.  You'll get over it too, I'd bet real money.

This is my 81 gamesquare region.  For some reason, I'm calling it Twin Rivers Region, or "2RR" for short.  Go figure.

A number of people have PMd or otherwise gotten in touch with me to ask, "Hey, what about Three Rivers Region?"  I'm wondering what about 3RR too.  Maybe at some point we can have that discussion- I'll think on it and let the community know when I'm ready.

UPDATE 151217We may be reaching that point sooner than I thought [linkie].

As for, to take first things second, "my 81 gamesquare region:" all I can say is "oops."  After Dark killed it, and probably that was a good thing.  I'm much more conservative about what mods I use these days.  We'll be talking about that.

UPDATE 151217:  The 81 Tile mod is back though, and done by BloodyPenguin, a top quality C:S modder [linkie].  I hear its siren song.

I hand terraformed the basic topography in the game's map editor.  The terraforming tools, compared with SC4, are clumsy and difficult to work with.  Actually, they suck.  It took me a week to create this map, and I almost pitched it because I couldn't ever get exactly what I wanted.  But I hung in there, and just in time an in-game terraforming mod, about which there'll be more later, came along.  I've now been working in-game for about a month, and fine detail gets a little better every day.

My skill at using the tools is getting better.  The tools still suck.  I'm really hoping that CO can step in and address terraforming, which is such a huge necessary component of any successful CB game, on a comprehensive basis in a future update release.  If the developer would like any specific suggestions I'm not hard to find.

Now that's more like it.  I'm not a fan of the low poly, exactly the same trees, but that'll improve over time.  I wish cycledogg was around to do some better textures.  I also don't care for not having a better handle on distances, which was built into SC4 by virtue of the grid.  Terraforming in C:S would be vastly improved by having an overlay "guidelines" grid, say 100 metersx100 meters, that would allow better and more realistic detailing to scale.  The game also needs the ability to press a key and display the elevation, in meters, of wherever the cursor is located.

"low poly, exactly the same trees"

"better textures"

For all intents and purposes, these have been addressed.  They will continue to be refined, I'm sure.  Measuring distances within the game has not had a perfect fix applied yet, nor has an in-game elevation ability been provided.  I am confident that these things will come soon.

Of course, I've started naming things.  Hey, modders, or CO, how about the ability to label stuff in game.  Pop ups giving some detailed info along with the name would be nice.  And the roads.  Don't even get me started.  Such an abundance of riches, but so many issues.  There will be future posts entirely devoted to this area of the game.  For starters, though, a good two-lane rural area arterial road would be not just a welcome addition, but an essential one.

"ability to label stuff in game"

"a good two-lane rural area arterial road"

The pop-ups with detailed information are still out there on the horizon.  Better roads and the ability to customize them are happening through modding as we speak.  I'd really like for CO to formally add them to the game, though, along with a much improved selection of bridges.

Here's the road down the west side of Williams Pass.  The right-of-way looks pretty raw because I just built it (heh!).  You can do some pretty good stuff with the in-game smooth slope terraforming tool, so those tools aren't all bad.  How about a slope mod, though?  I think we figured those out in SC4's second year, right after Rush Hour came out.

"slope mod"

It's literally Christmas every day for the C:S gamer.

Anyway, 2RR is, as advertised, "a work in progress."  I'll try to update a couple of times a week.  Thanks for visiting- see you around.



The term "2RR" was apparently too cute by half, because even I couldn't stand to use it.  It took me about 30 minutes to start referring to Twin Rivers Region as "TRR," and that has stuck.  I can tell you that one thing that will not change is considering this CJ "a work in progress."  Cites are never "done" (well, maybe Pompeii, but that's a whole 'nother thing) and I doubt countrysides are either.  There is always something to change.  To make better, To make worse.  To make different.  That's the way the world works.  That's the way this CJ is going to work.

We have had a great run here in the little less than three months that we've been up and running.  We are currently ninth (UPDATE 151217 sixth) out of all the CJs in the Cities: Skylines forum-based city journal section in page views and in third place in the number of replies.  We currently average about 150 page views and around three comments a day.  That's not me doing that- it's you, the readers- lurkers and commenters alike.  Thank you to every one of you.  I'm going to make this worth your while- that's a promise.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2015, 01:48:22 PM by dedgren »
D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]

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Offline compdude787

Re: Jessamine at Twin Rivers Region
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2015, 02:05:02 PM »
Nice start! I really like that road going over Williams Pass! I can say that this game looks pretty great so far, but I'm sure that in a few years we'll look back at C:S in its vanilla form and say "Man! That looked terrible!" just as we do with SC4 in its vanilla form.
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Offline art128

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Re: Jessamine at Twin Rivers Region
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2015, 06:48:36 PM »
Knowing your skill level and what you showed in 3RR, we can only expect some excellent stuff here!
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Offline catty

Re: Jessamine at Twin Rivers Region
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2015, 07:25:55 PM »
I was trying to get rid of my SC4D bookmarks, I've just had to add in a new one   :thumbsup:

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Offline Jmouse

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Re: Jessamine at Twin Rivers Region
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2015, 09:06:57 PM »
Itís great to see ďJessamineĒ coming to SC4D. Although I donít play C: S, Iím absolutely amazed by the things youíre able to do with the terrain, roads and related transport elements. Watching 3RR develop over the years was a great pleasure, and watching you work your magic a second time will be a rare treat, indeed. :)

Offline Themistokles

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Re: Jessamine at Twin Rivers Region
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2015, 12:54:41 AM »
I'll have to admit that although SC4 still wins in the details, C:S looks jolly awesome on the large scale... with the proper skills of course... so I do expect some stunning landscapes :D
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Offline dedgren

Re: Jessamine at Twin Rivers Region
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2015, 03:04:16 AM »
From September 6, 2015.  I'm pretty amazed at how rudimentary my Cities: Skylines' skill level was at that point.




UPDATE 151220:  Aaaargh, those terrain textures!  They're hurting my eyes.

Ready to hit the road for a five day trip to Kennicott Glacier Lodge for some Alaska leaf peeping.  Thought I'd leave you with a teaser, like at some other CJ I recall.  It's pretty lo-fi, but my video capture program is on my trusty laptop and Cities: Skylines is on my desktop.  So until I get that figured out...

That wind is really blowing, eh?

Two words: plop rocks.

See you next time.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 03:06:31 AM by dedgren »
D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]

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Offline Girafe

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Re: Jessamine at Twin Rivers Region
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2015, 10:21:38 AM »
weather is just missing and it s perfect  &apls &apls &apls
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Offline dedgren

Re: Jessamine at Twin Rivers Region
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2015, 03:00:14 PM »


D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]

I atenít dead.  ó  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren

Offline dedgren

Re: Jessamine at Twin Rivers Region
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2015, 01:11:02 AM »
We made our third post in TRR on September 12, 2015.  Jessamine was still nowhere in sight.

Updated remarks are in red italics.




A couple of shots of Twin Rivers Region highway infrastructure today, as I'm back from a week out in Alaska's boonies.

UPDATE 151225 The title image remains on of my favorite in-game Cities: Skylines pics.  It just captures both the Day One amazingness and down-the-road potential of the game.  I've been a critic of grid-free city builder games in the past, as the absence of that constraint just seemed to invariably lead to sloppiness and excess.  Not this game, though.

The drive home yesterday from Kennicott Glacier Lodge, about 200 miles/320 kilometers from my home, was jawdroppingly gorgeous.  Even with a light rain, the fall colors were incandescent.

UPDATE 151225 Alaska, in case you haven't guessed, remains jawdroppingly beautiful.

We never got a "trumpet" puzzlepiece interchange in SC4's NAM.  You can do one there now with the latest versions, but I remember years of longing for one of these before those versions came along.

I think the "cut and bridge" freeway overpass style in C:S is far more realistic than approach ramps on pylons/columns.  It would be nice to have some concrete slab props to use as bridge abutments.  I would hope that CO/the modding community gives us proper merge lanes for non-urban ramps ASAP,  Three freeway lane striping should also be continuous where a ramp merges/diverges.  And, please, lose the directional arrows.  Pretty please?

UPDATE 151225 The ramp merge angle has been at least improved by Thaok's Sharp Junction Angles mod [linkie]. Still no bridge abutments or comprehensive fix to various road marking oddities.  But I'm hopeful.

All in all, though, this is pretty cool to be able to create in about 10 minutes or so.

This was really early on in my construction of the Cliffside Freeway.  There's very little fine terraforming except for the canyon with the cascade in it.

I continue to marvel at how right the developers got the flowing water.  Just add some ploppables and this is better than anything realizable in SC4 in terms of creating a realistic chasm.  I would like some abutments for these bridges as well, but you can't have everything, I guess.

There needs to be a tool to "clamp" the highways and roads to absolute smoothness.  I've started a list of that kind of stuff, and that may be the subject of the next update.

UPDATE 151225 I've been using the popularity of Jessamine over at Simtropolis to try to get the attention of folks who can deal with these sorts of issues.  I think that's working from the feedback we've received.

Have a great weekend!


D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]

I atenít dead.  ó  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren

Offline kelis

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Re: Jessamine at Twin Rivers Region
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2015, 07:55:29 AM »
Lovely pictures, great job  &apls

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Offline threestooges

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Re: Jessamine at Twin Rivers Region
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2016, 01:46:45 AM »
That overpass in the first picture of your most recent update, I can hardly get enough of it. It's amazing the level of control the game allows and how relatively forgiving it is despite its foibles.