The Thames District: I'm on holiday.

Started by joelyboy911, August 21, 2009, 04:39:20 AM

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Hello all. Joel here, you may know me from my work at the SimCity Aviation Group or my various other postings around the place. This is going to be my new Mayor Dairy, the Thames District of New Zealand.

I don't aim to recreate this region, merely to use its landscape to construct my own style of city. Blade2k5 of the NHP team very kindly produced for me this map of the region, on which I will be building, taking some elements from the real area, such as agricultural types and the approximate location of main settlements (but that will come just a little later on). Please click on the map there if you want to see it in all its full resolution, .png glory.

These shots from Google Earth are to give you a sense of where in the world Thames is. The real life settlement of Thames (home to approximately 7,500 people) is located at the northern edge of the river, at the coast. The main body of water is known as the Firth of Thames (by the way it is pronounced temms, like the river in England). In real life the town is the seat of the Thames-Coromandel District Council, which governs Thames and the Coromandel Peninsula (the bit sticking out in the ocean to the north east of Thames). The plains to the south of Thames are known as the Hauraki Plains (how-rack-ee, or hoe-raa-keh depending on certain, erm, cultural factors) These alluvial plains are fertile and home to many dairy farms (which of course are the main export producers in New Zealands economy). I will be recreating these dairy farms. On the hills of the Coromandel Peninsula there are some pine forests, however most of it is in sort of native bush land. In my construction you will see some more exotic forests. The hilly region to the north west of my map is known as the Bombay hills, which are a cultural divide in NZ because they are the border between Auckland and the Waikato Region, Town and Country etc. I haven't decied exactly what to build over there yet - farming of some sort. You may notice that there are some waterways missing, from the region view that are in the real map. Blade2k5 couldn't find exactly where they should go when he was mapping the area, and I decided they didn't matter much. You may also notice that the main river, the Waihou (why-who) formerly known as the Thames River (named this by Captain James Cook - our equivalent of Christopher Columbus  ;)) does not follow its exact real course. Please don't be alarmed.

I started in the North Eastern section of the map, in the Coromandel Ranges. Here I began to build forests, and some suburban and industrial areas of the future Thames City.

Obviously, this is still a work in progress, but I like that arrangement of forests sort of scattered randomly throughout the valleys of the Ranges. I made my own custom farms using Peg's pines.

In fact, I use quite a lot of his creations. However, the trees actually seem to be quite taxing on my system. Possibly they are rendered with complex LODs or something, or maybe I just use too many of them.

Next, I went to work on a little coastal suburb of Thames. I have some of the BATs by Mattb325 and Jen_p as well as some others I collected along the way, but I only use mods to block maxis mansions, I don't mind their low and medium wealth offerings.

I also used the underwater flora, and some other flora mods alongside PEG's random pine woods to create a more realistic beachfront area. There is very rich growth of seaweed, as you can see, but I can explain this away: because of the intensive Dairying on the Hauraki plain, much fertiliser is used on the land. Some of this is washed into the waterways by the rain, which ends up in the Firth of Thames, which apparently (in real life) is at risk of suffering from an algal bloom.

I also tried my hand at producing a little mosaic of the coast and the suburban houses next to it, here's what I came up with:

I hope you like it, and if you have some good feedback and ideas or suggestions to give me, they are always welcome. Feel free to ask any questions, about anything at all that I've mentioned or about New Zealand in general. Well, yeah ... thats it, for now. I can't promise really regular updates, as my interest fluctuates between playing SimCity and BATting planes (I won't mention RL...), but I'll try my best to get one out every week or so.
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Good start! I really like the region view, looks like it will be a diverse area.Gonna have to check in from time to time to see more of it.



ahh great start and looking forwad to more!
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very beutiful. Ill be looking for more.  :thumbsup:


KoV Liberty

Good start! Glad to see you making a MD!

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Tomas Neto

Very nice start, great!!!  :thumbsup:


You've got a very good start here. I like what I see. Keep it up!

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Wow, very nice! I like the attention you gave to the natural areas. Looking forward to more! :thumbsup:
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Good start, the map looks quite nice and the region view is nice. The pictures of the up hill residential area is very well done, I like how you played with the SAM. The only thing I don't really like is the messy looking of the suburbs, some time street stop and there's just one house of 1x1 between the next street or road. And these Maxis small commercial towers aren't looking great in that suburbs, I think you should replace it by some small mall..
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This all looks wonderful.  :thumbsup:

The river in the pre-development region view, the Coromandel Ranges picture and the shoreline vegetation are pretty good.

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Wonderful start! :thumbsup: I love those residential suburbs. &apls (that might be my favorite kind of development)

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Great start! I really like your Thames banner. It fits quite nicely. :)



Cool town & Region i'll be flowing it :thumbsup:


Very nice! I love all the flora along the coast and under the water, great start to your MD!  :thumbsup:


This is really interesting and I like the New Zealand touch! :thumbsup:



This looks great!  Can't wait to follow along.  :thumbsup:

FYI I had the same issue with PEG's pines.  Love 'em but when I used too many it made the city almost unusable (large tiles).


WoW it's great where did you get that underwater bushes