Welcome to my SimCity 4 blog!

Current project: The Quynneth region.



22 October 2010

Update 6: Companies of Quynneth



Welcome back in the Quynneth region. In this update I'd like to showcase some large companies in the region. It's all companies that have had, or will, or will continue to have a heavy influence on the regions development. As some of you know, I'm trying to develop the region according to the natural growth principle, where I interpret natural growth on several levels and in several ways. Meaning I want to keep all city tiles self sufficient (unless theres a roleplaying reason not to be), and am using both roleplay elements as well as logic to make decisions in the development of the region. This means I have no clue how my region might look in 5 more updates, which makes it pretty much an adventure, hopefully just as much for you as for me :) Anyway, onto the company showcases!



 

Gonway Mining co. is a company that has been responsible for triggering the first developments in the region, and continues to be of large influence. It's the largest company in the region, in workforce, profit, investment in the region as well as physical influence on the region. Without Gonway Mining co. this region probably would still consist of endless forests today.


Gonway Mining co. is a company that up until now exclusively focuses on mining browncoal. The company already was exploiting a browncoal mine outside the region, and has further expanded in Quynneth after intensive prospecting. Currently several consessions are being mined, and with the arrival of the bucket wheel excavator mining is proceeding so fast that current concessions are near to being depleted, and Gonway is on the brink of moving on to a new concession. Right next to the mine, at Gonway Industrial, three browncoal powered plants serve as additional income for the company, by providing power to both the region as well as a southern neighbouring region.


Gonway Mining co. is also responsible for the creation of the first railroad. This has led to the explosive growth of Innit Industrial, the industrialized harbour area where Gonway is unloading their trains of browncoal onto barges for transport over river, then sea. Gonway's working force largely lived in initially The Sheds, a workers town near the mine, but lately more and more workers have been moving to Fishenflies, causing the town to grow so fast it currently is agglomerating with Landing, and only has a thin strip of trees separating it from the ever expanding Innit Industrial.








Dunce Farming Cooperative got founded by the son and eleven grand children of Bill Dunce. Bill Dunce was the first farmer in the region, and there's no need saying that farming runs in the family. Though Bill only had one son, his son had eleven children, and all of 'm became farmers. At first Bills son expanded the farm to five farmfields, but with all grandchildren now unified in the cooperative, Dunce Farming now possesses a total of 72 farm fields. Being in a cooperative they are able to buy and share large machinery, causing even larger profits and enabling them to pay off their SimNational bank loans within a few years.


All Bills grandchildren decided on living in the same town. Although the town initially was called Two Snails, the towns name officially got changed to Duncewood two years ago. The town is entirely surrounded by farmfields owned by Dunce Farming Cooperative, and in this particular picture you can still see Bills old house at the lake in the top right corner.

Though Bill Dunce himself is not with us anymore, his name lives on at the Market square in Landing, still referred to by Landings inhabitants as 'Bills market'. The marketsquare, as well as 3 rural grocery stores are co-owned by Dunce Farming Cooperative and worked by franchisers. The successful cooperation causes food prices to remain low in the region, which helps to attract even more people to settle in the region.








SimNational Bank is one of the large investors in the region. Together with Gonway Mining co. they have set up an extensive advertising campaign to attract settlers to the region, which has turned out to be very effective over the years. SimNational Bank's cheap loans helped starters in a great way in the early development of the region.


Though it has been a bit of a gamble for SimNational Bank to invest so heavily in the area, the excellent results of the advertising campaign, and the successrate of Quynneths companies have more then paid off for the bank. The banks headquarters in Quynneth is currently the tallest building in the region, and the marble and hardwood themed offices are a display of SimNational Banks achievements in the region.








Simcoast Lumber co. is one of the early players too. Next to Gonway Mining co. it is the #2 job provider of the region. Quynneth is heavily covered with forest. Every field, lot, or road needs clearing of trees, as well as the mining concessions. No need to say that Simcoast has made a small fortune by now.


The tell tale red buildings of the lumber company stand out near the waters edge of Sawdust. Both Sawdust as well as Landing have owed large part of their growth to Simcoast Lumber co. The company does not only need people at the sawmill, but there's hundreds of operators, loggers, and truckers out there in the forests clearing room for every single expansion of the regions developments.


By now a second sawmill has been built at Old Gorb. Due to the success of the first mill it's a near to exact copy of the mill at Sawdust. Old Gorb has seen similar growth as Sawdust due to the vicinity of the sawmill, which has led to the existence of New Gorb at the northern river bank. With developments expanding to the west the new mill has been doing well, and Old and New Gorb are expected to experience explosive growth due to it in the near future.








CJ's Waste Management & Eco Technology is one of the more recent players in Quynneths economy. All garbage used to be shipped out of the region (or illegally discarded in the forest), but the region is seeing such growth that this has fast become too expensive. CJ's has jumped into this gap, and successfully so.


With every town now reachable over road, CJ's Waste management has chosen a not so central, but very cheap location for one of their latest innovations, a cyclic garbage dump at Wilson's Ridge. The dump consists of several separate sections. Only one section at a time will be connected by road. Once full, it will be closed off and the next section will be opened. This way the first section can have a headstart at decomposing. By the time the last section is in use the first section will have fully decomposed again and will be ready for reuse, and the cycle can start all over.
Though larger in surface then a large dump in one piece, the advantage is that the decomposition is a continuous process. Next to that CJ's has fitted the section with up to date technology like watertight underlayers, sturdy containment walls, waste water filtering and recirculation systems, and for the stuff they really don't know what to do with, a large incinerator.
Although CJ's Waste Management is currently just making enough money to pay the rent on their loans, there's no other parties interested in garbage, and their future might look brighter then expected.









That's it for this update, I hope you've enjoyed it. For your convenience I've marked all screenshot locations on the above map to give you a sense of where in the region the companies are active. Looking forward to any comments and criticism!
As usual I'll leave you with the traffic view. As you can see here's been quite some growth compared to the last one...


Photo Credits: Piper Super Cub by Answar Walk, Ontario farm by Stan Shebs, Cattle yard by Derek Balsley, Combine harvester by Hinrich, Bank vault by Jonathunder, Money by Twid, Logging scene by Alindon, Landfill by Michelle Arseneault.

16 October 2010

Another Logo

This time a logo of the company that has jumped into the regions void of waste handling.

03 October 2010

Roadmap Innit Landing area, from start till current

Here's all the traffic view maps from when I started the region untill how far I got today. It shows the main area around Innit Landing, so remote areas like Poacher Marshes are not depicted. It shows the growth so far pretty well. I opted for the roadmap because the last screenshot also shows rural areas that haven't been featured in an update yet. Enjoy!





30 September 2010

Intermezzo 1


It has turned out that the creation of the Gonway Mines - Innit Industrial railroad has been suffering from some poor planning in its initial stages. Several problems have arisen around the Fishenflies overpass, where especially the less experienced train drivers have trouble passing the overpass at the required safe speeds.
After quite some hold ups and near accidents, and with the help of RickD Railroad Consultancy, this chokepoint in the brown coal delivery structure has now been handled as followed;







28 September 2010

Update 5, Trains and Peat


It has been quite a while since the last big update, but I'm proud to present you a new update for Quynneth!
Events triggered by the kidnapping of Melinda Gonway (see update 4) have led to quit some growth in several areas in the region.

With the arrival of the bucketwheel excavator, Gonway Mining co. has vastly improved their production rate, and in no way were the trucks on the narrow road to Innit Landing able to keep up with the amount of brown coal being mined. It didn't take long for John Gonway to decide on building a railroad track, going west from Gonway Mine, passing the main road at Fishenflies with an overpass.


The newly created railroad ends in the harbor area of Innit Industrial, an industrial area that just keeps expanding, and which is currently only separated from Fishenflies by just a narrow strip of trees. The browncoal is unloaded by cranes and conveyor belt systems onto the brown coal docks, awaiting further transportation by ship.


The capacity of the brown coal docks have more then doubled, but business prognosis shows that a direct rail connection with neighbouring regions might be necessary in the future. For now a continuous stream of brown coal hauling trains runs back and forth from Gonway Mine to Innit Industrial, and John Gonway's business is flourishing like never before.

Original photo by Callum Black


However, it's not only the area around Gonway Mines that is flourishing, well to the west of Innit Landing, the once secret settlement of Poacher Marshes has expanded too. After its discovery the illegal homes have been legalized, and the area has been connected by a long and winding road.


Not only the town itself has expanded, because of the legalisation of the fishing and hunting activities of its original occupants a small harbor has been built too, forming the safe haven of a small fishing fleet.


However, Poacher Marshes was having one major problem. Despite of its road and sea connection to Innit Landing, John Gonway refused to provide the regions most used energy source, brown coal. Because of the history with Melinda Gonway's kidnapping, John Gonway didn't want anything to do with this remote town.

Fortunately, the inhabitants of Poacher Marshes are inventive by nature, and they solved the problem by starting to mine peat in the marshy areas surrounding the settlement. The brown coal fired heaters and generators that were commonly used in the region had no problem burning peat instead, and thanks to the business sense of the early inhabitants, peat even became a reliable source of income for the town, selling off peat for garden ornamentation and soil enrichment on the side.


Soon the peat mining area became very large, and a canal was dug alongside the excavation area to be able to haul the large quantities of peat out by barge. This first large peat excavation area got named 'Whiney Slices', because of the slices cut out of the landscape due to John Gonway's 'whining'.
Later, a smaller second excavation area got created named 'Phat Ducks', after a particularly large type of ducks settling in the area.


The large water features created by the peat mining activities turned out to be a natural surrounding very well suited for many species of waterloving wildlife, especially large amounts of ducks. With their poaching history, a welcomed side effect for the inhabitants of Poacher Marshes, who could add the reapings of the legalized hunt to their income as well. So thanks to the inhabitants inventiveness, and despite (or even also thanks to) John Gonway the area continues to flourish.



This is where I'll end this update. I know it has been a while, but I hope to be able to once again have some more time for my SC4 projects in the near future. I hope you enjoyed it, and I will leave you with this regional overview.

19 September 2010

Peat extracting area

I've been working on this peat extracting area, and I think I got to make it look decently finally. So time for a bit of a teaser or two.


Semi close up


Partial Overview

I hope you like it, and yeah, about time for some activity here!

10 August 2010

Gonway car skin

With no update to be expected soon I'd thought it's time for some action around this place.
Here's 2 screenshots I made of a Gonway Mining co. car skin I made on my xbox360 in Forza 3.
Hey, at least it's something...




20 April 2010

Dunce Farming Cooperative logo

And another logo, this time for the Dunce Farming Cooperative. These are descendants from Bill Dunce, featured in Update 2. After Bill Dunce died his estate got inherited by a cousin, who grew the farm business considerably. The cousin had a total of 11 children, who further developed farming in Innit Landing, and forming the Dunce Farming Cooperative.


15 April 2010

Update 4, the Kidnapping of Melinda Gonway




John Gonway is a busy man. As owner of Gonway Mining co. he spends most of his waking time on leading his company. He lives mining, he breathes mining, he dreams mining. Despite of his occupation, John Gonway has a family, a wife and daughter. After Gonway Mining started to invest in the Quynneth region John and his wife moved to Fishenflies, so John was close to the major section of his company. Their daughter Melinda stayed at their old home in Emmerton, outside of Quynneth region, in order to finish her study.

After not having seen his daughter for at least 4 months, John decided to invite his daughter over for, of course, a small tour of his mining emporium. Melinda never had been to Quynneth yet, and John figured a tour of the new quarry would make for a nice excuse to invite her over. As a matter of fact he arranged for one of the browncoal barges to give her a ride to Innit industrial.

This only illustrated the poor relationship between John and his daughter. Melinda dreaded the thought of the slow trip overseas, and if it hadn't been for that cute deckhand she would have probably ended up bored out of her mind by the trip alone. Eventually she arrived by barge at Innit Industrial. As you may have noticed it has grown quite considerably since our last visit to the Quynneth region.



At the harbor her dad had a van waiting to take her to Gonway mines. The trip was fast and rough, with a miner at the wheel. As Melinda looked outside, a bored expression on her face, she saw how they passed Fishenflies. The town looked unattractive to her. A lot of the houses looked like they were in dear need of a new paintjob, and there was lots of rubbish in the untended gardens.

A bit later they passed Dunce farms, which already looked a bit more attractive to her. Though Bill Dunce passed away a while ago, a cousin inherited the estate, and clearly had a good feel for farming. The farmlands had increased in area by a factor 5, and the fields of crops looked lush and well cared for. As the van passed, Melinda caught a glimpse of at least 7 children playing in the garden of the farm estate, and she couldn't help wondering how different her life would have been with so many brothers and sisters living on a farm, instead of being the sole child of a large company owner.

The van continued driving through the forest, and just as she was starting to enjoy the sight of a couple of deer grazing near the roadside she started to notice the smell of burnt browncoal, a smell she was oh so familiar with. Soon the narrow clearing around the road opened up to her fathers emporium. A sight of two large browncoal powered powerplants greeted her from afar. The sky was yellowish brown with soot, and the van turned right alongside a large open browncoalpit, leaving the industrial area behind them.



When they arrived at the mine entrance, she got word that her father couldn't join her for the small tour he had planned, he was engaged otherwise.

Melinda didn't mind at all, perhaps she was even relieved not to be obliged to hear her father boast about his accomplishments while ignoring the lack of accomplishments in his personal life, especially concerning their father - daughter relationship.

A miner showed her around, but she already saw those earth moving machines a million times before, to her this mine looked like any other her father had realized before, there was nothing there that interested her. Luckily for her the miner was quick to notice, and they both opted for drinking a beer in one of the workersheds instead of finishing the tour.

Not much later Melinda was back in the van, making her way through the forest again, heading towards her parents home in Fishenflies to meet up with her mom.



It was nice to see her mom again, though she seemed a bit stressed, and the house and garden looked slightly neglected. In an attempt to ignore the sad state of their family relations, Melinda passed some time with swimming in the shabby pool, wandering around the house, and scavenging for snacks in the kitchen. At dinner she finally saw her father, but as usual there was only mindless meaningless chit chat being exchanged. When she went to bed in the guestroom she couldn't even recall what she'd talked about. The boredom of the day had been exhausting, and the thought of leaving again the next morning was only one more reason to fall asleep quickly.

The next morning her dad was already off to the office. After a silent breakfast with her mom, Melinda was quick to say goodbye, and walked head down to the waiting van again, saddened by the continued lack of love by her parents. The van had the same driver again, and as if it was agreed upon beforehand, they only said goodmorning before the silence resumed and Melinda turned her head towards the side window again, watching Fishenflies glide by her window.

It was only a short drive to Landing, but the road was busy with commuters, and Melinda was actually a bit surprised when she realised that just a few years back this area was nothing but lush forests yet. When the van arrived at the pontoon north of landing, she quickly jumped out, mumbling a quick bye at the driver. Melinda walked up the pontoon to the very end, and welcomed the fresh breeze coming across the river, refreshing her mind like a cool morning shower.



Then suddenly things went very fast. Bystanders looked on as a small speedboat moored at the pontoon, and a large bald man stepped out on the pontoon. He quickly looked around, then decisively walked towards Melinda Gonway. Suddenly he grabbed her arms from the back, and before she realized what was going on he had pushed her into the speedboat, where she fell face first behind the two chairs, her hands slipping on the wet deck. Before she could regain her footing the man put the speedboat's throttle at full, and with a sharp turn they went downriver. The other people at the pontoon watched the tragedy in amazement, and saw the speedboat disappear with the bald man shouting commands at Melinda.

The van driver, who had been rolling a cigarette before planning on driving off again, had seen it all too. He immediately called John Gonway.
When John heard of what had happend to his daughter, he immediately ran to the communication office nextdoor to his own, and radioed out to every browncoal barge on the river and beyond. Though the large browncoal barges were much too slow and cumbersome to manoeuvre to stop the speedboat, they quickly started relaying sightings of where the speedboat was.



Meanwhile John contacted the pilot of Gonway Mining co's prospecting plane. Unfortunately , the plane was at least half an hour of flying away, and it needed to refuel first before being able to conduct any search. John shouted commands at the pilot as he felt an increasing panic creep down his throat and attempting to occupy his body. The pilot however remained professional and calm, as he hurried to fill up the plane before talking off, heading towards the large bay in Quynneth.

Photo of Piper PA-18-150 “Super Cub” taken by Ansgar Walk.


When the plane finally arrived at Quynneth, John Gonway was able to provide its pilot with a last location and heading of the speedboat, making it relatively easy for the pilot to start searching. Half an hour into the search, the pilot radioed back to John Gonway how he's found the speedboat moored at a hidden settlement. John commanded the pilot to land and investigate, but the pilot calmly refused. The bay was pretty narrow, and the pilot was hesitant to investigate on his own, and managed to convince john that the time had come to inform the authorities.

With no police in Quynneth itself, John Gonway had to seek for aid outside the region. That same day an investigative police force arrived at the hidden settlement, and they were soon to find out that most of it's inhabitants consisted of poachers and fishermen, trying to make a living by selling game and fish to the new inhabitants of Quynneth. At first they found the inhabitants to be far from cooperative, but with a little pressure applied on one of the poachers, the police managed to identify the house of the bald man early the next day.



With Melinda Gonway's life possibly in danger, authorities decided on flying in a SWAT team for tactical entry of the suspects house. A plan of attack was made, and after nightfall the SWAT team moved in.

After picking the lock of the backdoor and opting for a quiet entry the top floors were quickly cleared and found empty. All was left to search was the basement. When checking out the last door in the basement with a mirror, a professional optical device to check through door openings and around corners, the suspect was spotted in a basement bedroom. After blowing the door open with C4 and further shocking the suspect with a sting grenade, the armed suspect was arrested. In the back of the room a tied up girl was found on a mattress, but it turned out this was not Melinda Gonway, but another missing girl from a neighbouring region.

Then an entrance to an underground tunnel was found, with at the end a room that had Melinda Gonway locked in. Both girls were alive and as later turned out, physically unharmed, but both were suffering from shock of the constant fear they had been in. What plans the suspect had with the girls remains unclear for now.



After receiving medical attention Melinda Gonway was reunited with her parents. For the first time in years Melinda found her father giving her an intense hug, and both cried realizing how much they had missed that level of personal contact, and they spent the whole night talking about the event, and also about the years leading up to it. With a renewed bond with her parents, Melinda left Quynneth region, never to return to it again.



These events didn't leave John Gonway untouched. It effected him deeply, and led him to the realization that you only live once, and things can change forever in a just a heartbeat. As a result, a few weeks later, he took one of the boldest business decisions ever in his life.

Research was done, offers were made, and eventually John Gonway signed a multi million simolean contract.
Six months later the first of many ship convoys entered Quynneth region, bringing in thousands of tons of materials.



For months on end, trucks and special transports hauled all those tons of material from Innit Industrial to Gonway Mines, where all the materials were assembled, tested, adapted, tested further, and finally, it was done. The largest piece of mobile machinery in Simworld had been created.

At the hands of just 5 operators, the large bucket wheel started its motion, scraping away at the mine walls at the same rate as 40,000 men with shovels would. Who'd ever thought the arrival of a bored teen on a barge would lead up to this...