Welcome to my SimCity 4 blog!

Current project: The Quynneth region.



31 March 2010

Must ....... play ....... SC4!

Arrgh, no updates in over a week on my blog.
I must admit I only got to play 2 hours of SC4 since my last major update.
One of the reasons is that I have been busy at CSGforums, a new forum for SC4.
I'd like to invite any readers of this blog to have a look there. Afterall having a new forum for a game that's already over 7 years old just proves how popular this game still is!
Meanwhile I'm really going to spend some time on further developing my region, I promise!

21 March 2010

Ooh, look what I found!

This should make a nice addition to Gonway Mining co.'s surfacemining operation, once the hole is big enough, lol. I could barely fit the thing in one of the existing concessions. I plan on joining 5 concession up to make a big enough place for this thing to stand.... Took me a while to find the thing too!

20 March 2010

Update 3, Logging and Farming.



A few years have passed, and there has been quite a bit of new development at Quynneth.
First of all, Gonway Mining co. together with $im National Bank have found a large logging company prepared to settle in the region; Simcoast Lumber co.

Simcoast Lumber co. already owns 5 large sawmills in surrounding regions, and is one of the biggest players on the lumber market. Since Quynneth is a heavy forested area, with large amounts of development predicted, Simcoast Lumber co. has shown heavy interest in building a sawmill in the region.
With $im National Bank offering cheap loans for farmers willing to settle in the region, large patches of land need to be cleared of trees, next to the areas suitable for mining ofcourse. Any aditional development only ads to the equation. This promises good profitability for a new sawmill, provided it is built in the right location.

After thorough research by Simcoast Lumber co. a sawmill location has been planned just east of Landing, on the northside of a river. To the north and northeast lots of fertile land is to be found, very suitable for farming, while to the east the mining operations need regular clearing of moderately forested areas.
Logs from the north will be transported directly to the sawmill, while logs from the northeast and east will be dropped into the river at drop off points, enabling the logs to float downstream to the mill, causing a considerable saving on transport costs.



The location for the sawmill needs quite a bit of work. A large section of ground near the riverbed needs lowering for the sawmill to sit as close to the river as possible. The river itself needs widening at the mill location to create a mill pond where logs floating to the mill can be collected and sorted in the water.
Just downstream of the mill a bridge needs to be constructed, which needs a construction below it to prevent any logs from floating past the mill, where they could be a danger to shipping. The bridge will also provide an alternative drop off point for logs that can't be directly delivered at the mill. Plans are soon made and submitted for approval;



The plans are approved, and work started on preparing the sawmill location. Luckily Gonway Mining co. has enough groundmoving equipment to spare to make quick work of the preparations. Within a matter of months the new sawmill is built and operational.

 


Traditionally constructed out of wood, with the typical red paintjob, and providing hundreds of jobs, the mill has grown to be one of the industrial icons of the region. With thousands of acres of wood ready to be cut, the sawmill provides a huge boost to the regions economy, and quickly is becoming the favored source of employment, even surpassing Gonway Mining co. The sawmill itself even has become a favorite under local artists, as this artistic impression of the sawmill shows;



With logging operations at full strength, developments to the northern fertile regions are now just a matter of time, while the regular deforestation at the mining sites continue as usual. Acre after acre of land is cleared of trees, and the produced lumber is a welcomed and cheap building material in these first stages of Quynneth's development.



However, in this region of miners and loggers, farmers are hard to find. This is why $im National Bank is offering cheap, low interest loans to any farmer willing to set up operations in the region. Together with Gonway Mining co. they have set up a widespread advertising campaign in order to lure farmers to the region. This ofcourse all being part of the grand scheme of lowering costs for Gonway Mining co. and Simcoast Lumber co., since the local production of food will stimulate their workers to settle in the area, instead of the companies having to pay for them to travel to and from the area by ship on a weekly or daily basis.



With the advertising campaign in full motion, fertile lands being precleared and ready for development, and cheap loans for farmers that want to take the big step, it doesn't take long for the area north of Gonway Mines to turn into a serene combo of a river, farmlands and local streams. On the left of this particular picture you can also see one of the log drop off points, allowing logging trucks to unload straight into the river.



With word spreading fast about the 'promised lands' of Quynneth, an even larger area of farms is created north of the sawmill, and soon the need for advertising is diminishing. Farmers are flocking to quynneth in large numbers.



With so many new people settling at Quynneth, there's not only growth of the existing settlements. Several new rural villages have popped up;  'Marish', 'Hammond' and 'Flint'. Next to that a workers village has developed north of the sawmill, appropriatedly called 'Sawdust'.



With the explosive growth of the past few years, many realize there is some need for guidance other then just CE-O's of large companies deciding on the regions future. After several meetings of the important, the wealthy and the influential amongst the inhabitants of Quynneth, a decision is made about the creation of municipalities.
Each municipality will have some form of self government, while decisions of regional importance will be agreed on by a municipality collective. The current developed areas have been divided into the following municipalities;

- Innit Landing (Landing, Fishenflies, Sawdust, including Innit industrial)
- Gonway Mines (The sheds, incuding Gonway mining co.'s surface mining operations)
- Hammond (Hammond, including surrounding farmlands)
- Flint (Flint, including surrounding farmlands)
- Marish Valley (Marish, including surrounding farmlands)


For good measure, Gonway Mining co. has ordered a population survey, which results can be viewed in the following graph;




As you might be able to tell from the graph, there's still quite a few workers that have to come in by ship, so there's still a lot more growth to be expected. And with more people coming in, more shops and businesses are needed, more farmers to feed them, which will need more people yet again.
However, this is still in the future, for now I'll leave you with an overview of the area featured in this update.
I hope you've enjoyed it, see you at the next update!


14 March 2010

Progress is slow but steady

I'm only slowely progressing on my next update. Especially in these early beginnings of the region I'm looking for valid reasons to start initial developments in new areas. It's fun, but not as 'easy' as expanding existing developments.
I'm about 70% done on the next update (including pictures and storyline), but I need to do some more building for the remaining 30%. Next to that I also want to do some normal growth on the already existing villages, industrial areas and the browncoal mining, eventhough it won't be included in the next update.
For now I'll give you this teaser;


After this coming update I might leave this initial area of development for a while to a whole other part of the region. I already got some ideas for it, but it needs some more solo brainstorming.
Hopefully the next blog entry will be a full size region update again :)

11 March 2010

Sim National Bank

Being another big player in my region, currently offering cheap loans for any farmers willing to settle in Quynthen, it needed its own logo too ofcourse.
This time I went for a very clean businesslike approach;



I'm sure in time, when Quynneth has been developing for a while this bank will be building an office or two in the region....

Farmers adverts

10 March 2010

Simcoast Lumber co.

I'm pretty busy again at the moment, but found myself a spare hour to create a logo for the next big company that is about to start a bussines in Quynneth, Simcoast Lumber co.;


I hope it's noticable that it's supposed to be an interlocking sawblade / tree combo, it's actually a lot of fun thinking up logo's for the big companies, although my design abilities and software are limited.
Next big update should be all about simcoast Lumber co. making it's appearance into the region, should be a good one. Stay tuned!

08 March 2010

Update 2, The First Inhabitants



It wasn't that long ago that Quynneth was an untouched region, but the arrival of Gonway Mining co. has changed that. After the construction of the first surface mine Gonway has further invested in the region.
Dirt roads have been upgraded to concrete roads, building materials have been shipped in, contracters have been contracted and construction of several projects have started.


One of the first things Gonway has invested in, after upgrading the existing dirtroad from the shipping area to the mine, is creating an industrial area near their first concession lot 457.38722 BL. A garage and workshops have been built, as well as some storage facilities for equipment and spare parts.
Next to that a main pumping station was built. At first all groundwater pumped from the mining area was released into the nearby forests, but the amounts of pumped up water have increased so much that a special designed spillway had to be created to ensure the water wouldn't just flow back into the mine through the soil.
Once the surface mining endeavor was well supported, construction was started on a brown coal powered power plant, which has been completed by now. Work is still commencing on constructing powerlines heading south to hook up neighbouring regions. This is all part of a grand scheme to reduce costs, since once the powergrid will be completed, the transport of electricity will be a lot cheaper then transporting the browncoal itself, and in the shape of electricity the energy will be easier to sell as well.




At the same time work had started on creating a workers community to the south-east of concession lot 457.38722 BL. Main reason for creating the settlement was giving the surface mine workers an opportunity to stay over during weekdays, drasticly cutting cost for transportation of personell.
The miners quickly realized the advantages of staying over during weekdays as well, being able to start on their 'after-shift-beer' hours earlier then if they had to travel home first. This caused an explosive growth of the workers settlement, which eventually would hold near to all miners during weekdays. This even caused so much strain on the concrete access road that it had to be upgraded to a wider asphalt road, and the settlement had its diesel powered generators replaced by being hooked up to the powergrid stretching south.
Although the workers settlement never has been officially named by Gonway Mining co., amongst the workers it quickly became known as 'The Sheds', which was actually a pretty accurate description of the general housing quality at the settlement.



Ofcourse work on the mine itself continued too, and with a large workforce at hand work has also started at the second concession lot 564.42856 CD. Within months the outlines of the new mine were clearly visible;



With the increased winning of browncoal there was also a much needed upgrade for the shipping location. What once was not much more then a sandy flattened riverbank, had now turned to a sturdy concrete construction allowing several browncoal hauling barges to moor simultaneously. Right next to it Gonway Mining co. had constructed some supporting facilities, a concrete mixing tower that is being extensively used for the roadworks going on, warehouses for storing building materials and some workshops providing maintenance and repair facilities for the barges and other equipment used in the shipping area. Which had been named Innit Industrial by this time.
With shipping facilities nearby, lots of work to be done and landprices as low as they can get, more bussinesses decided to build at Innit Industrial. Carpenters, roadworkers and even a browncoal powered metal workshop flocked to the region of opportunity.



Since Innit Industrial was now bustling with activity, its harbor continuously facilitating browncoal barges, Gonway Mining co. decided on constructing a seperate passenger ferry pontoon well to the north of Innit Industrial, so passenger and freight ships wouldn't interfere with eachother. With this new beachhead created, connected by road, some workers decided to buy a small plot of land near the ferry pontoon, and had their girlfriends / wifes come over. If you are going to stay here all weekdays, you might as well stay all together. Next to that, land was so cheap here (except for the browncoal concessions), that now workers were able to buy some land at a fraction of the cost outside of this region. More and more workers had their families move over, and a small village called 'Landing' sprung to life.

With lot's of women residing in the village, two of them, Thelma Frunnik and Louise Glibber decided on starting their own bussiness to batlle the inevitable boredom amongst the women. Thelma started a shop in hobby materials, such as beads, paper, paint and all sorts of other crafting materials, whereas Louise started a lapdance school. Both concepts turned out to be highly succesful, resulting in the first commercial development of the region.



One of the surface mine workers, Bill Dunce, didn't have a wife, nor a girlfriend. Nearing retirement, and no one to spend money on, he had aquired quite some money. Not being the kind of man to live in a town full of women, Bill decided to buy quite a large patch of land along the road from Innit Industrial to the mines. He set up a home near a small pond, that turned out to be full of fish. After retiring, he also cleared some land and began a second career as a hobby farmer, not able to sit still after a life of mining. And so he spent his time, fishing a bit, farming a bit and generally being happily retired.



Bill Dunce, being a likable man, was regularly visited by his former coworkers. Whenever visiting they noticed Bills happyness, enjoyed fishing with him, and getting some free vegetables to take home with them as well. The workers quickly started longing for a similar place, with some peace and quiet, a nice place to fish, and away from hobby materials. Lapdances were ok though.
Coincidentally, not far from Bill Dunce's house there was a much larger pond, you might even call it a small lake, and it was filled with fish, eager to be cought. It didn't take long for the first workers to buy some land there, and soon several houses had been built at the waterside.
Unfortunately this didn't go unnoticed by the rest of the workers. The plots of land near the lake quickly sold out, and within a year or two the whole lake was surrounded with housing. Next to fish, the lake was also swarming with flies, leading to the name of this new settlement; Fishenflies.




So, in a few years time, where we'd expect only to find a scabby workers settlement next to a mine, a lot more had come to existance. New settlements, not only occupied by miners, but also by carpenters, car mechanics, road workers, lumberjacks, barmen and others. With each house being built, each bussiness being erected, more people were needed to maintain and supply for them.




Ofcourse gonway Mining co. had a big influence on developments. As we speak, Gonway is having talks with SNB (Sim National Bank) to arrange cheap loans for any farmers, lumber companies or other supporting parties willing to settle in the region. All part of the bigger scheme of reducing costs for Gonway Mining co., and SNB being a large investor of the company.
With any new development in the region having a great chance of profitability, and increasing profitability of the ones already there, SNB is very willing to supply funds to any interested parties. With acre upon acre of land to be made profitable, there are huge amounts of money to be made by any bank prepared to take some risk.

As we await new developments, I'll leave you with an overview of the current area being worked upon. I hope you've enjoyed the update, and will tune in for the ones still to come!

02 March 2010

Developing a bit

I think I want to do a bit of developing without directly adding it to an official (forum-) posted update. I will post some pictures here though, since I want the blog to offer something more then a CJ / MD topic on the forums.

I've done some initial development, but it's hardly screenshot worthy material, although the upgraded shipping location looks nice. I used the CDK3 garbage dock as a stand in for a browncaol shipping location, and I think it looks good. Downside is that it IS a garbage dock, so it's costing me money. I think I can handle that though siince I'm planning another town in the same city tile (the more permanent version of the miners settlement, which is supposed to be a weekday only inhabited settlement).



I'll just do a bit of step by step growth here and there and see where it goes...

01 March 2010

Update 1, Welcome to Quynneth


Yes, here it finally is, the first update of my region journal. I decided to call my region Quynneth, an unusual name, but I like it. So I welcome you to the virtually untouched region of Quynneth!



As you have read in earlier blog entries, Gonway Mining co. has shown interest in this region, for its suspicion to have some rich browncoal deposits. Water analyses of several rivers in the area have shown traces of browncoal, and Gonway Mining co. has decided on further investigation, especially as their browncoal surface mine in another region, Gonway mine,  is nearing depletion.

Having acquired quite some riches with their first surface mine, Gonway Mining company is in the luxurious position to invest heavily in this still untouched region to get new mining operations on the way.
As a first step there will be some reconnaissance from the air to check out the most promising locations. A small plane with geological experts has scouted the region from the air, interpreting landscaping features for their likelyhood of containing browncoal. The following area has shown to be of particular interest;


After establishing this area of interest, Gonway Mining co. has sent in a scouting expedition to conduct research on the ground. Within 2 months some rich browncoal surface deposits were found, and 3 main dig sites were proposed. With the browncoal positions discovered, research has also shown a good possible shipping location, since initially any mined browncoal will be shipped out to neighbouring regions. Unfortunately the nearest possible shipping location is quite a distance away, since the riverbanks on rivers closer by were classified too steep for proper development.


With the initial research and planning stage behind us, it is finally time for the first developments in our region.
Gonway Mining co. has sent out a ship with equipment to prepare a makeshift shipping location, and to start constructing a temporary road towards the first concession at dig site #01, concession lot 457.38722 BL.


Soon the dirt road is stretching far inland, as workers get closer and closer to dig site #01. At some points the workers had to deviate from the planned route, because of swampy grounds, and later on rocky outcrops being in the way of the roads development.



When the first concession at dig site #01 is reached, heavy machinery is making a quick start on removing the top soil. Many trees are cut down and shipped out to neighbouring regions. Waterpumps are installed for lowering groundwater levels enabling Gonway to start mining deeper.



And then, finally the first browncoal is mined. For months on end diggers dig, and trucks run down the makeshift road towards the shipping area, delivering one upon another truckload of browncoal to waiting ships. After a while concession lot 457.38722 BL is very well on its way of being developed.


Though mining operations are running now, profit levels are still low. All personell and equipment has to be shipped in, and equipment breakdowns are hard to fix with spareparts having to come from far away regions. Dispite the start up problems the area looks very promising, so Gonway Mining co. is very much prepared to invest further in the region. Investment plans include a makeshift workers settlement, upgrading roads and shipping location, as well as constructing supporting buildings like a garage and a spare parts depot.
These are still future events though, for now I leave you with the results of first human interference in Quynneth, a large scar on it's surface....