The Art of Zoning Rural

By Dr. Nikolaus Wilson, August 12, 2010 20:55

Banner City Journal Entry 7

Welcome to the rural part (as if there were any other parts by now :) )!

Area under Review in Journal Entry 7

1. A word on incorporating natural development tendencies in a city simulator

Layout and zoning is the key element in building a city. Effective zoning will make the difference between a functioning city or an undesirable piece of land. Much has been said and written about zoning as well in relation to SimCity 4 as in relation to real life.

SC4 is a complex city simulator but is has it’s limitations especially in the more regional simulation areas. A key question a player featuring natural development has to answer is:

How to incorporate real life theories and historic development tendencies into the restrictions of the city simulator?

Well, that depends on the way you want to play. If you love idealistic well functioning cities you may layout and zone your city following the principles the simulator works on.

If you love natural looking cities and natural development you will want to forget about the simulator and develop your city after historic development schemes or real life city planning theories. And then…  -BANG – your city is functioning poorly as the simulator can’t grasp your beloved theories. A motorway, for example, leading in a wide arc around your city covering 10 or 20 game tiles would be used heavily in real life to cross the city, in SC4 the sims would only use it for in-tile traffic or to go to the adjacend city tile. A big airport would serve a whole region in real life while it is only of effect for one city tile in SC4.

The art of natural growth or natural development in SimCity 4, or any other city simulator for that matter, is not only about naturally developing your region by constantly role playing the different political and economical powers. It is also about finding a balance between the zoning decisions that would have been taken in real life and the needs coming from the restrictions of the city simulator. The natural growth player will try to minimise simulator-forced decisions, and if he has to take one he will try to cover that part of the story as best as he can.

2. Naturally growing GRUNEN

The City Blog GRUNEN is all about natural development. If you look at the region shots you will see that the region is developing after natural tendencies. Up to now no simulator-forced decision has been taken. The mayor of the City of GRUNEN was the protagonist of some bribery actions and decisions have been taken accordingly – but, well, that is real life, not simulator based.

I now present you my very first mosaic! A rural part of GRUNEN covering two city tiles. You will note that the development followed the natural given forest lines. You can notice two or three small settlements that crystallised around desirable areas. You will note the tendency of humans to settle where others have already build. And you will note occasional industry complexes, mostly warehouses, that are needed to keep the agricultural industry rolling. All naturally grown.

As time goes by this part of GRUNEN will grow or desert. Who knows yet? I will carry on with natural development and in a few years we will be right back here for another visit and see what happened.

Mosaic of the rural part of GRUNEN all naturally grownMosaic of the rural part of GRUNEN all naturally grownMosaic of the rural part of GRUNEN all naturally grownMosaic of the rural part of GRUNEN all naturally grownMosaic of the rural part of GRUNEN all naturally grownMosaic of the rural part of GRUNEN all naturally grown

(click for full monster)

3. A word on custom content

This city journal is all about natural development. I want to show a region that is growing after natural tendencies. I have the most fun in playing this game when I see a region growing. And I want you to participate in this progress and join my in looking at the beauty of growth itself.

Playing after the Natural Growth principle is very time consuming. That is one reason why I am conservative with custom content (CC). I use it where necessary but otherwise I try to go along without. The region GRUNEN could be styled more scenic by using CC but I simply have not that spare time. And, more important, the region GRUNEN is not made to look outstandingly eye-pleasing. It is made to show growth as well as all deficits a natural city or region has.

I respect and even admire a lot of eye candy cities (wish I could do such amazing things), but to me the development is the key to game fun.

That is GRUNEN! Hope you like it.

3 Responses to “The Art of Zoning Rural”

  1. Gorbag says:

    Very nice looking fields. Very natural. Great work on the mosaic.

  2. Shilka says:

    very cool mosaic indeed. It looks pretty busy on the road!

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