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Three Rivers Region

Started by dedgren, December 20, 2006, 07:57:49 PM

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Quote from: amapper on March 12, 2012, 09:30:51 AM
Some Japanese beer for those who have tried it. From the looks of things, we will need some "designated drivers"!!

Thats what anyone under 18 is for  :)


Since everyone seems to be bringing local drinks, I'll join in ;D

RIP Adrian (adroman), you were a great friend

My LOT thread                                    

SCAG BAe146/Avro RJ Project


Happy 6st anniversary 3RR!  &apls  &dance :party:

Seems like there's enough to drink already so how about something to snack on the side  ;D

With a nice glass of Brugge Tripel.

Cheers everyone!
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana




Is this on?...


[louder feedback]


Welcome, welcome to Black Earth's Old Grange Hall and the official start of Three Rivers Region's 6th birthday party here at SC4D.  It is great to see so many Regulars* here already.  I see you've found the beer!

These remarks won't be long, but I do want to give everyone a little idea of what is planned.  We'll be online for the next 12 hours or so, and posting new things frequently as the party proceeds.  One thing you'll see a lot of- we've gone back through all 500 plus pages of the thread and selected a few choice comments which we'll present...

...completely out of context, of course... this.


3RR Quotable Moment
@meinhosen: "lol, the posting almost seems to have stalled out a bit now that we're approaching 2100 replies."

You can see that the countdown clock has finally reached zero.

I'm glad, because Nixie tubes [linkie] are getting hard to find.  Hate to have one of these puppies burn out in the middle of things.

I'll be putting up a new post every hour or so, and adding to it until I start the next one.  If you are just parking your browser here, you can update my post as well as see new posts by other Regulars by hitting your [ F5 ] key to refresh the screen.  There'll probably be a bunch of sore fingers tomorrow, looking at the turnout so far.

Up 'til about noon AST, things will be pretty informal.  So mingle.  It would be great to see some conversations started- don't worry about OT today.  I think thinks will stay on track 3RR content-wise, because we have a lot to show you.  The big stuff, of course, will come toward the end, but you might want to check in between now and then as well- you might be surprised.  I also plan to try to comment in your posts throughout the day.

So, enjoy yourselves as we kick off 3RR's 7th year.


* A 3RR Regular is you, after you've posted at least once here or over at 3RR-ST.

D. Edgren

Please call me David...

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

I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren



That is quite a quote David, :D

*cuppa soup in one hand, pint-o-tea in 'tother*

Happy anibirthversary 3RR, and heres to the next 6 :D

It's truly been an honour to sit around and watch you play and create, thank you so much :)

Copperminds and Cuddleswarms


Work is almost finished, so I'll be driving home to the 3RR Party in a few minutes ;D


I best not lurk, as it has been so declared! Happy Birthday, 3RR! I may not be active much lately, but I have been actively reading and keeping up on the latest. Alas, I may only get to toast the festivities with a dose of Nyquil, as I'm having a miserable day myself ... but I won't bring the party down!

Utility Poles Project [linkie]
Ashtabula (the MD) is not dead; it's just on a really long hiatus!
Check out Homefryes' BATatorium


Happy Birthday to 3RR!  It's been an inspiring project right from day one and it shows no signs of slowing down!  Looking forward to many more years!


Thought I'd come over to see what all the hoopla was about ... and get a piece of birthday cake.  Happy birthday, 3RR and congratulations David for creating such a successful and beloved region and journal.  XO!

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."     - Harry S. Truman


My name is Raphael.
Visit my MD: Empire Bay (My old MD: Santa Barbara County)


Wow, 6 years! What a milestone! My MD is like a toddler compared to this... ;D
Happy birthday, TRR! &apls
p.s.: 2800th post
Visit my MD, The region of Pirgos!
Last updated: 28 November


Take a look up on the overhead...

Once upon a time there was a game called SC4.  Lots of folks liked it, especially after its developer released the Rush Hour update.  By 2006, it had developed quite a following at fansites like Simtropolis, SimCity4 Devotion and SimPeg4.

One great aspect of the game was its modability and the way it allowed those who played it to add custom content.  By the time 3RR started in March, 2006, fansite exchanges were full of things that let you make the appearance of the game completely unrecognizable to those who had only ever seen the "vanilla" version.  In particular, the NAM Team was making huge strides in developing new transit networks.  I have to admit that it was those networks, and what we could do with them, that served as the strongest attraction of the game for me.

Let's look at that attraction by taking a spin in the 3RR Wayback Machine, heading for 2006 and a post in the early days of 3RR at ST.

* * *

We're going to leave the Chicago area seeking some answers...

...but first I need to undertake a labor of love.  For those of you who will bear with me for a minute, you might gain some insight into the basis for my
SC4 jones [ linkie ].

You now know, if you've followed 3RR for a while, that I love freeways, I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, I collected (and still have) a large number of roadmaps from the 1950s-70s, and I'm a really, really nice guy... the last can only be inferred...

...okay, so the very, very perceptive among you will know that I'm a really, really nice guy.  Whatever.  Anyway...

Let me put these things together for you a little bit more.

As a kid in the late 50s and early 60s, I felt pretty underprivileged.  Every summer most of my friends would take these great road trips.  My best friend Jay Rogers would always drive with his folks, for example, to Florida.  Other friends would hit the road and go to the east coast, or California, or to some big national park out west.  To add insult to injury, my grandparents (my mom's parents) would do the same thing.  Trips to Minneapolis some years and Seattle in the others (I had no idea at the time, of course, that my grandmother was going to clinics for yearly cancer treatments).  Always by car.  Always to somewhere that sounded incredibly wonderful.  Always to somewhere that I knew I'd never get to...

...because the only place my parents, brother and sister went to over those years was to Wisconsin.  To
Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin [ linkie ], to be exact.  And we'd fish..., fish, fish, fish, fish...

...the whole week my dad had for vacation, then we'd drive home.  Oh, I'm exaggerating a year we drove to the
Boundary Waters area [ linkie ] in northern Minnesota...and fished.  Another year, we drove all the way to Manitoulin Island [ linkie ], in Ontario, Canada...and fished.  Or rather, my family all fished.  I only pretended to fish.  What I was really doing was thinking about the great time Jay was having driving back and forth all the way to Florida and while he was there.  And about California.  And Seattle.  And Maine.  And Yellowstone National Park.

And I'd ask my friends and my grandma and grandpa to bring me back one thing from their travels.  Road maps!  And they did.

I wound up with road maps of most every state, Canadian province and major North American city.  Road maps from oil companies, many now long gone, that I had never heard of:  Chevron, Esso, Sohio, Sunoco, Union 76, Utoco, as well as from some I had: Standard, Mobil, Cities Service, Enco, Shell, Texaco, Phillips 66.  I treasured every one of them.  I'd get a new trove from some returning traveler, and stay awake for hours at night with our family's "for emergencies" flashlight smuggled under my bedcovers tracing my fingers up and down those thin red and blue lines.  I'd marvel that many U.S. highways out west were still marked as gravel roads.  I'd plot the paths of the still mostly proposed Interstate Highway System and think, in the ignorance of youth, how great it would be not to have to drive through all those little towns or wind from here to there and back on roads that didn't seem to share my sense of urgency about getting from point "A" to point "B."  I traveled untold hundreds of thousands of miles in my head, and was a source of constant amazement to my parents, who just couldn't figure out why their nine year old child could give turn-by-turn directions to visitors to our home they were chatting with about a planned trip to Omaha.

And those journeys always started close to home...

...because within just a few miles of where I lived were some of what I considered to be the greatest roads in this country.

It all started with U.S. Route 6.  My lucky number, my favorite road of all.  The longest US highway: Provincetown, Massachusetts on the tip of Cape Cod [ linkie ] all the way to Long Beach, California (I never acknowledged the action of the California DOT in arbitraily chopping off the last few hundred miles and ignomiously  EDIT: ignominiously  (Woo Boy- missed that one!) terminating 6 at Bishop in 1964- they never asked me).  6 ran just a few miles south of where I lived.  I was convinced that I knew a better route through Illinois- one that would have taken it down Warren Avenue at the end of the block I lived on, but I was, again, only 8 or 9- nobody wanted my opinion about that, either.  Another thing that was great about 6 is that it was at the end of the block, running on Ridge Road, from my maternal grandparents' home in Munster, Indiana.  So every few months I could just walk down the street, set foot on it (minding the traffic- the drivers of which I'm sure thought I was nuts), and be carried away to Cleveland, to Denver, to New Haven and Providence, and to L.A.  

Then there was U.S. , a few miles to the north and east of Downers Grove.  Running east, it took me to Detroit, and west to the wilds of Montana, and later (maybe in some Karmic swap for chopping off 6 at Bishop), on to the coast in Washington state, crossing Idaho along what I mistakenly then though to be "The River of No Return" I had seen once in a movie.  U.S. 12 was cool because it went through the Wisconsin Dells area [ linkie ], which I thought to be most definitely cool.  U.S. , also a few miles to the north and east, started in my very own (at least I considered it so) Chicago and wound up, having grazed the mysterious Devil's Tower [ linkie ] on the way, at Yellowstone Park [ linkie ].  U.S. , Lake Street, followed the course of 12 around the outskirts of Chicago.  It was the second, with 6 and U.S. 30, of the three coast-to-coast US highways running within a few miles of where I lived.  It would take me, to the east, to Toledo, and Erie, Pennsylvania, Albany, New York, a few miles north of where my daughter Liz would graduate from college about 40 years later (R.P.I., 2005), and wind up in Boston, where I imagined Paul Revere riding along its predecessor 200 years before.  West, 20 was what I imagined to be the quintessential great plains route- miles and miles of two lane, straight as an arrow, rising and falling over long low hills out into a distant sunset.  20 somehow survived being "killed" by its transit of Yellowstone (every other numbered highway goes in and, just like the Roach Motel [ linkie ], never comes out.  From there, on to the beautiful Oregon coast, where I pictured 20 arriving, still full of energy from its brash, direct trip across the country, and finally only stymied by the indescribably wide Pacific Ocean (I didn't see an ocean until I was in my 20s, and grew up with concept of the Great Lakes [ linkie ] as being vast beyond imagining).  Just a few miles to the south ran 20's even numbered companion, U.S. .  From Atlantic City, my concept of which was formed by the board game Monopoly [ linkie ], through Philadelphia, Pittburgh, and then across endless miles of midwest corn fields past my hometown and out to Omaha, 30 was only second to 6 in appeal to me.  It was the route my friends who went east for the summer said their dads swore by.  Plus, it had all sorts of alternates in the Chicago area, which I thought added somehow to its importance.  Once past Omaha, I imagined 30 as a sort of paved "Oregon Trail" [ linkie ], passing forts and indian villages and all sorts of other Westernalia on its way through Portland, Oregon to the Pacific coast at Astoria.  I was always bothered by the western ends of 30 and 20 getting switched (20 ends at Newport, Oregon, over 100 miles south of 30's western terminus), as 20 isn't supposed to run south of 30 under the US highway numbering scheme [ linkie ].  Once again, nobody asked me.  U.S.  was the route closest to home:  Ogden Avenue, a four lane road about four city blocks north of my house.  Pull on to Ogden and drive east to the foot of Buckingham Fountain [ linkie ] in Chicago, where I still remember the old "End 34-66" road sign, marking (what else) the common eastern terminus of 34 and U.S. 66, of which I will say more in a minute.  To the west, 34 didn't have to do anything other than pass through Rocky Mountain National Park [ linkie ] on the way to its western terminus at Granby, Colorado to be OK in my book.  Actually, I always saw 34 west of Chicago as a sort of lesser alternate to 6, as it paralleled the latter usually a few 10s of miles to the north or south all the way out to Colorado.  Furthest away from my home was U.S. , paralleling the shore of Lake Michigan as (what else?) Lake Shore Drive in downtown Chicago, having swooped down from Michigan's upper peninsula from the mysterious and (in my mind, anyway) perpetually fogbound Keweenaw Peninsula at Lake Superior [ linkie ] through Milwaukee, and then on south to Miami, Florida, spawning all sorts of odd-numbered progeny (U.S. 441 and 641, for examples) along the way.  My mind vacation travels down 41 would take me through Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee, which for some reason I always thought was more or less the area that was the geographic center of the U.S. Civil War [ linkie ], then Atlanta, Georgia, and finally through the Florida Everglades [ linkie ], where I imagined alligators lying in wait at every pullout for the occasional incautious child....  U.S. , which ran north-south about 6 miles east of Downers Grove on Mannheim Road multiplexed with 12 and 20, always seemed to me to be U.S. 41's evil twin Skippy [ linkie ].  They both start up at Lake Superior, but 45 doesn't quite make it onto the Keweenaw Peninsula, and then sort of meanders south through Wisconsin, missing along the way anything significant.  It skirts Chicago, then heads south, where about the first interesting place it gets to is Tupelo, Mississippi, birthplace of The King: Elvis Presley [ linkie ].  It finally makes it to the Gulf of Mexico at Mobile, Alabama.  My 60s era central United States maps show 45 as a blue highway [ linkie ] down its entire length.  Nowadays, I'd take that as a virtue.  U.S.  ran, with 6, 30 and Alternate 66, through Joliet, a then run-down town to the south and west of Downers Grove known for little more than being home to the exceedingly grim Stateville Penitentiary [ linkie ], and being the place from where "Joliet" Jake [ linkie ] derived his nickname. 52 was probably, after 6 and 30, my third favorite of the time, for a number of reasons.  First is that it ran, before the bypass was built, a block from my paternal grandparents' home in West Lafayette, Indiana as Northwestern Avenue (my grandfather was a professor at Purdue University just down the street).  Second, 52 is the odd-duck of major US routes, in that it is the only one to travel any appreciable distance from northwest to southeast.  52 cuts across the United States from the Canadian border (Saskatchewan Province) to the Atlantic Ocean at an absolutely relentless 45 degree angle for most of its length.  It exercised, to the northwest, an inexorable pull on me that I truly believe has something to do with me being here in Alaska today.  To the southwest, it took in Cincinnati, Ohio, Winston-Salem, North Carolina and finally Charleston, South Carolina as places along the way.  It is probably the route I would most, if I could take the time, like to drive the length of today.  U.S.  is another diagonal route, this time from northeast to southwest.  It was also (no longer- thanks for nothing, ILDOT) another road that had its terminus in Chicago.  I always considered it, much like 45, sort of an inferior analogue of another nearby route, this time U.S. 66.  They (54 and 66) both started in downtown Chicago, both headed southwest out of the city and across Illinois toward the land of renewed hopes and dreams full of energy and promise, then along the way something happened to 54.  Where 66 wound up, after triumphantly crossing seven UPDATE: eight (sorry, Kansas, forgot about that 13 mile stretch) states and winding up at the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, California (I mean, who wouldn't want that?), 54 sort of just lost altitude and ultimately nose-dived into the muddy Rio Grande River at El Paso, Texas.  Along the way, it missed Dodge City, Kansas [ linkie ] and just about anywhere else that would have interested a nine year old.  Given a choice, who would have followed this dog of a highway on a trip west?  Having now lived in El Paso and driven some distance on its westernmost stretches, I grew up to belatedly give 54 the respect it deserved all along.

Finally, there's

What can I say- just a few miles south of my boyhood home.  Read the article [ linkie ].  It's all true.

I'll never be a kid again.  I'll never again be able to look at a new map of a state I've never been to (I've now been to all of them) and spend hours in my mind traveling up and down its roads imaging what might be here and what might be there and what might be around around the corner if I was to turn left or right.  The mystery is all gone from my real world.  It's all mapped and known.

SC4, on the other hand...
D. Edgren

Please call me David...

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

I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren


...continued from last post...

SC4 on the other hand was a place I could map out new things, and 3RR, once I realized it, was a particularly rewarding way for me to do that.  I started Three Rivers Region as a four large quad (of course, I didn't call them that back then) region...

Phase 1 - March-May, 2006

...then, over the course of about six mad months, made it four times as large...

Phase 2 - May-October, 2006

...then larger once again to its current 16x16 quad size.

Phase 3 - October, 2006-current

Where did that map come from?  In mid October, 2006, 3RR stood here- a region four quads by four (although it was divided a bit differently).

When I decided to increase the scale to something approximating RL, I first assembled all the terrain views from screenshots into a region size whole.

Next, I hand-drew contour lines in areas of elevation changes...

...then "painted" them in with a greyscale gradient recognized by wouanagaine's great SC4Terraformer...

...arriving ultimately at this.

I then took the greyscale map and imported it into the Terraformer specifying a 16x16 quad (large city square) region size.  Here's an early-on pic of what Terraformer gave me back.

Next, I opened each quad in SC4.

All 256 of them.

This process gave me this...

(and this, but we fixed it).

I did a first pass of general terraforming...

...that resulted in this...

...which I then fine-terraformed into this.

Took me about a month.  What a long, strange trip it's been [linkie] from there.


3RR Quotable Moment
@dedgren: "3RR is probably a dead-end in the long term. But that's not to say we won't have fun getting to the end."


D. Edgren

Please call me David...

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

I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren


Great trip down memory lane, David.
Maps are one of my favorite things. I have spent many many hours looking at them, and your recollections remind me much of my own.
It's not too difficult to see where your extensive use of highways and maps in 3RR comes from.



Some presents from me...  :)

EDIT:  Good heavens, my friend!  That isn't a hippopotamus, is it?  We'll have the PETA [linkie] down on us in a heartbeat.  Of course, in 3RR, they do PETA a bit differently.



My most memorable moment was when you posted the first ever image of single track rail...   where two became one...

Haven't got time to find it now...  but will have to rummage around later.

Now...   who took mah fairy wand?

EDIT:  Are you looking for this, Craig?

I, uhh, haven't seen your fairy wand
. -de


Congratulations on 6 years 3RR!!!
Nice work on this project, David.


Happy 6th birthday to 3RR--and congratulations to David on keeping it going all these years! :thumbsup: It's hard to believe it's been that long.   I remember the old days of 4-quad 3RR . . . it was right around the same time I was starting out in the community.  The ol' upsizing/scaling discussion was to me one of the most detailed and well-thought out discussions I've seen in a CJ/MD, and it definitely changed the way an entire generation of SC4 players viewed the game. 

The amount of development and philosophical thought about SC4 has kept this place a real hotbed of the community over the years.  I think I speak for many of us here--thank you for helping make the game what it is today, David!