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Blackwater (with Islas Gemas)

Started by emilin, January 25, 2007, 10:56:35 AM

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Two very different regions presented here. One holiday resort and one big metropolitan area.

Table of contents:

Introducing Islas Gemas
Vallo Corte
"Fixing" Vallo Corte
First visit to Puerto Rico
Soccer teams of Islas Gemas
The rest of Puerto Rico
Random development, and a small tutorial

Celebrating 100 comments

The island of Topaz
Thoughts on Ports, part IV
Thoughts on Ports, part IVb

Celebrating 200 comments

Thoughts on Ports, part Va
Thoughts on Ports, part Vb
Developing Santiago
Developing Santiago, more lots, downtown and old town

Celebrating 300 comments

Further development of Santiago
Santiago Outskirts and a little teaser
Overviews and Los Trepadores
The rest of Santiago
Santiago by night
Aeropuerto Internacional de Zafiro

Celebrating 400 comments

Traffic generator for SMP sandstone mod
Around the airport
Stop. Hammer time.
Paloma - upscale beachsites and hotels
The rest of Paloma
El Snapper Belga - the Belgian Snapper
Playa del Paraíso - first visit

Honouring thundercrack83
Hounoring bat, kwakelaar and dedgren
Honouring Sebes, Yoman and Shadow Assassin
Honouring HabLeUrG, patfirefighter, Cali and Air6
Hounoring badsim, RayDen and Rooker1
Honouring kimcar, NikNik and Heinz

Playa del Paraíso - second visit

Celebrating 600 comments

Río Paraíso
Los Olivos and the southeastern coast of Zafiro
Bahía Roja - downtown area
Bahía Roja - second visit
The rest of Bahía Roja - and the Rubí Airport

Celebrating 700 comments

San David d'Esmeralda
País Palo - the town of Lobo and some villages
Finishing País Palo

Welcome to Blackwater
Blackwater: Rail system and Blackwater Central Station with surrounding lots

Celebrating #800 comments, #10.000 views, and 1 year since first post

Blackwater: Experimenting with flora and transparent plop water
Blackwater: The other side of the tracks
Blackwater: sidewalks and more
Blackwater: some trains as props
Blackwater: World Trade Center
Blackwater: lots near the train station
Blackwater: Downtown shopping

Celebrating #900 comments

Blackwater: Cultural centre
Blackwater: downtown backstreets
Blackwater: Daught Island - first visit
Blackwater: Daught island - second visit
Blackwater: Time for a break (RHW designs)

The Islas Gemas dictionary:

Adeje: A small village high up in the mountains of south Zafiro.

Ancla del Aero: A small town and anchor place on Ópalo.

Ágata: A small island located to the northeast of the region. The name means Agate.

Akira: A medium size town on the north coast of Ópalo. Also a religious center and shrine for the Buddhist population.

Ambarino: A small island located to the southwest of Rubí. The name means Amber.

Arrakesch: The main town of Topaz, located in a protecting valley in the middle of the island.

Artenara: A small village in the País Palo.

Autokim Parque de Atraccsiones: An amusement park in Playa del Paraíso.

Azul del Paraíso: A stream on Ópalo.

Bahía Roja: The main city of Rubí and the second largest city on the Islas Gemas. The name means "red bay".

Bombero: A very strong liceur distilled from Eucalyptus. It is produced in the San David monastery in Juaníta. The name means "firefighter".

Buenavista: A small tourist town on the south coast of Zafíro. Consists mostly of time shares.

Cantina Assassina: A pub and hostel in Puerto Jumanji.

Cascada del Oeste: A stream on Ópalo.

Cascada del Sur: A stream on Ópalo.

Cappo: A small town on the northernmost peninsula of Zafíro.

Cedric El Malo: Cedric "the bad" was governor of Islas Gemas 1732-1758. He straightend out the administration and increased central government control. He contributed a lto to investments in education and culture, but was not very liked among the farming community.

Corriente California: A stream/river irrigating the rice fields on Ópalo.

Club Nick Nick: An upscale nightclub in Puerto Rico.

Duarte: A small village located on the southeastern part of Zafiro.

El Perro y el Remiendo: The dog and the Dutchman, is the nickname for the high altitude area between the mountains Perro and Remiendo on Rubí. It is popular for advanced climbing and scenic nature.

El Snapper Belga: A work of public art placed in downtown Paloma. The name refers to a sunken ship located just off the coast near Paloma.

Esmeralda: The third largest island of the Islas Gemas. The name means Emerald.

Esmeralda Unida: Football (soccer) team from the island Esmeralda. Currently playing in the second division.

FC Rubí: Football (soccer) team from the island Rubí. Currently playing the second division.

Garachico: A small village in the País Palo.

Granate: A small island located just east of Rubí. The name means Garnet.

Habelurgian Strait: The main sea faring route through the Islas Gemas. It goes in between Topaz and Zafiro on one hand and the rest of the islands on the other. It was named after Habelurgius Mexicanus.

Habelurgius Mexicanus: An explorer serving the Roman Empire in the 1st Century AD. He was the first European to reach the Islas Gemas by sea but he never landed on any of the islands.

Hielo Claro: A stream on Ópalo.

Independiente de Santiago: The biggest football (soccer) club of the Islas Gemas, currently playing in the highest national league where they have been finishing at places 5-8 for the last few years. The team captain, and highest valued player, is Sebastian Romero, (born in "Argentina" but now a "Spanish" citizen).

Islas Gemas: A group of 12 islands located somewhere in my Simuniverse' equivalent to the Atlantic Ocean. Together they form the southernmost province of my "Spain". The name means "Jewel Islands" or "Gem Islands". The climate is subtropical, with a great variety in wind and weather conditions between the different islands.

Jardin Libertad: Park and recreations area in Santiago.

Juaníta: Smaller town and resort located on the West coast of Zafiro. It is closely intertwined with its' larger neighbour Puerto Rico.

Lago Rokera: A lake in Santiago de Zafiro. The name refers to the local myth of the Rokera.

Lago Sebes: A small lake on Topaz.

Lago Silvio: A lake in Santiago de Zafiro. The name refers to portugese tradesman Silvio Raio who established a trading company in Santiago in the 19th Century and made major investments into the cities development.

Las Galetas: A small tourist town located close to Playa del Paraíso.

Leandra: A small settlement on Topaz.

Lobo: A medium sized town in the País Palo on the north coast of Zafíro.

Los Jardines: Residential area in Santiago.

Los Olivos: A tourist oriented town on the southeastern coast of Zafíro.

Los Trepadores: Another name for the suburbs of Santiago, climbing the steep hillsides of the valley.

Mata Ashita: A village on Ópalo.

Malaquita: A small island located to the southeast of the region. The name means Malachite.

Modernista: A high wealth residential area in Santiago.

Musharraf al-nuk: Slightly insane Ottomanian slavetrader that settled in the city of Bahía Roja in the 18th Century. He wanted to build a rocket ship and launch it into space, but never got to see his dream fulfilled. The building that was meant as the foundation for the space craft is one of the most popular tourist landmarks on Rubí today.

Nuestra Dama: A large cathedral in Santiago.

Nuestro Sino: The home arena for the Independiente, located in Santiago.

Obsidiano: A small island located to the southeast of the region. The name means Obsidian.

Ópalo: A medium size island with a very green and lush environment. The name means Opal. A large part of the inhabitants of Ópalo are of East Asian decent which can be clearly seen in the style of architecture, and also in the practice of Buddhism as the dominant religion on the island. The Asian population migrated to Ópalo in the middle of the 19th Century, mainly from "Japan" that still was an extremely closed society at the time.

Padparadscha: One of the smaller islands, located to the northeast of the region. The name means Padparadscha – a rare form of pink Sapphire.

País Palo: The name of the northern peninsula of Zafiro actually means "bat country" because of the shape of the coastline. It has a lush environment as compaired to the rest of the island, and is not as developed for tourism as the south of Zafiro.

Paloma: A medium sized resort town located on the south coast of Zafiro. It is closely intertwined with its' bigger neighbour Playa del Paraíso. It is one of the more expensive and upscale resorts on the Islas Gemas.

Parque de la Cruz: Park and recreations area in Santiago.

Parque Independencia: Park in Santiago.

Parque Monsignor Sanabria: Park in Santiago. Named after the first bishop of the Islas Gemas.

Parque Resurrección: Park and recreations area in Santiago.

Perro: A mountain peak on Rubí reaching 995 meters above sea level.

Píco: A small fishing village in the País Palo.

Piedra Sangre: The smallest of the Islas Gemas, located east of Rubí. The name means Blood Stone.

Pinje: A small village on Topaz.

Playa del Paraíso: The biggest resort town of the Islas Gemas. Named after the large beach where it's located on the south coast of Zafiro. It is the main center for tourism on the islands.

Puerto Azul: The main town of Ópalo. Located on the southwest coast of the island.

Puerto Jumanji: The main port of Topaz. The name refers to Turkish trader Özkan Yoman who established an anchor place here in 1672.

Puerto Rico: A medium size town and resort located on the west coast of Zafiro. It was one of the first charter resorts built on the Islas Gemas in the 1960s, but the town center is much older.

RAP: The official code for the Rubí International Airport.

Remiendo: The highest mountain peak of Rubí reaching 1053 meters above sea level.

Río Cedric El Malo: A river running through Santiago de Zafiro. It was an important feature as Santiago grew from a small town into a real city.

Río Paraíso: The river going down from the mountain Trueno that passes between the towns of Paloma and Playa del Paraíso.

Rokera: A mythical creature known to abduct and eat small children. The myth is the Islas GEmas equivalent of the Chupacabra.

Rubí: The second largest island of the Islas Gemas. The name means Ruby.

Saba: A village on Topaz.

San David: A 17th Century local saint who established the monestary in Juaníta.

San David d'Esmeralda: The main town of Esmeralda and the third biggest urban area of Islas Gemas. The town is named after the local saint San David.

San David monastery: The monastery in Juaníta was founded by the saint San David in the 17th Century. They are famous for producing a very strong Eucalyptus liceur called Bombero.

San Juan: A small town located close to the international airport on the east coast of Zafiro.

San Pedro: A small village in the País Palo.

Santa Cruz: A small town in the País Palo.

Santiago de Zafiro: The provincial capital of the Islas Gemas, aswell as the main city of Zafiro. The city is home to almost 150.000 citizens, the provincial government and the only modern industrial port on the islands. It is also the financial hub of the province.

The Red Snapper: The wreck of this 19th Century Belgian Corvette is located off the coast near Paloma. It is now a popular site for Scuba diving.

Tejada Lighthouse: The old lighthouse in Juaníta.

Toledo: A village located on the southeastern part of Zafiro.

Toledo Parque de Industria: Industrial park located close to the town of Toledo.

Topaz: One of the smaller islands of the Islas Gemas, located far away from the rest of the islands, in the southwest of the region. The name means Topaz. The climate of Topaz is much dryer and sandier than for the rest of the islands. There is a strong North African influence on both culture and architecture on Topaz.

Torre del Zafiro: the tallest building on the Islas Gemas. Located in the financial center of Santiago, it reaches 211 meters into the sky.

Trevejos: A farm village uphill from Playa del Paraíso. Famous for a local brand of tequila.

Trueno: The highest mountain of Islas Gemas is a massive volcano reaching 2273 meters above sea level. The last eruption was in 1902. British explorer Edmund Berry was the first to climb the mountain in 1534.

Unjuta: A small settlement on Topaz.

Vallo Corte: A geopgraphic area on the east coast of Zafiro that consists of two shallow valleys. The name means Short Valley. The area is one of the few places on Islas Gemas with rich soil, and is dominated by farms and smaller villages.

Vilaflor: A small farm village uphill from Playa del Paraíso.

Zafiro: The largest island of the Islas Gemas. The name means Sapphire.

ZIN: The official code for the International Airport of Zaphiro.

BlackwaterEmil's inn
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Introducing Islas Gemas

Islas Gemas is a region loosely based on the Islas Canarias located in the Atlantic. Credit for the map goes to HabLeUrG of NHP who answered my request in record time and did a magnificent job!

Islas Gemas is roughly translated to Jewel Islands, and the singel islands are named after different precious stones.

The climate is not tropical, but rather Northafrican (with a Mediterranian touch). There will be palmtrees appearing in some areas, but they should be considered as planted there by humans, not part of the natural environment. The vegetation will also differ from island to island depending on their locations and geocraphical feature.

Also, this group of island is located reasonably close to a larger continent to the east, but with the open ocean to the west. That means that winds and sea conditions are rougher on the west sides of the islands than on the east sides. This will, for instance, have an impact on the need for large breakwaters protecting harbours, and also on how arable the land is.

I use the Painted Desert terrain mod by Cycledogg, but I added the Olympic beach, cliff and rock textures instead of the default Moab textures, that look a little artificial in this type of landscape.

I have switched between the Medowshire River TreeController and the Italian TreeController for different parts of the environment (both can be found here on the LEX). I have only used the Painted Desert TreeController (maybe on the LEX, otherwise on PLEX over at Pegasus Productions) on the remote island of Topaz, that was the only place I found it appropriate.

Here's the Census shot of the region in it's current state (with all of the islands names):

Now, on to a quick presentation of the individual islands:


The biggest Island where the capital, Santiago de Zafiro, will be located. As you can see there is some development already here: The south of the island is dominated by a big volcano and on the northern peninsula you can see that nature is more green and lush compaired to the dry south.

Rubí (with Ambarino, Obsidiano, Granate, Malaquita and Piedra Sangre)

This group of islands has a normal mediterranian environment. Rubí is the second largest island and will probably be the hardest to develop since I want at least teo midsize cities on it. It's also my favourite among all the islands so I will have to be very careful not to ruin the terrain.


The third biggest island. It's covered in greenery (which fits the name, by the way) and will remain that way. This island will not be densely developed. Only small towns and settlements, and maybe a port for ferry communications.

Padparadscha, Ópalo and Ágata

This group of island is located at the northeastern edge of the region. They have mostly normal to dry environment, with the exception of Ópalo that is fairly lush.


The remote island of Topaz is  located some distance away from the rest of the islands. The environment is dry, and the conditions are windy. Greenery is sparse here and the architecture is more northafrican than mediterranian. Some development has already been done here, but it's far from finished.

BlackwaterEmil's inn
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Wow, definite Latin feel to it. The terrain is gorgeous; you need a fabulous job with the mountains and trees.


A beautiful region. Excellent work so far emilin.
The mix of terrain and tree mods sounds good.
Can't wait for some close ups.

I am looking forward to seeing more!


Very nice!  Looking foward to see this region grow.  I think I'll learn something.
Carolina Tar Heels... National Champs again!


Islands!  I love islands...

It's about time that there would be a great island-based region.  Bet yours, Emil, is it.

Welcome aboard- it'll be great to watch IG develop.

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


The combination of landscape textures is looking nice. An group of islands is an interesting starting point for a CJ.


The first thing I thought of when I saw the islands was the game 'Tropico'

Good luck with this MD and I'll be sure check back.
Jim Myers  (5th member of SC4 Devotion)


I'm looking forward to seeing more of your region...nice start so far  :satisfied:


Great looking region indeed! Don't let us wait too long for more!


Wonderful region and wonderful start!


Great region ! Nice start... I'm looking to seeing more. Good luck.


Dedication: DuskTrooper – for the NoMaxis mod, without which this MD would never have been possible.

[Note on dedications: I thought it would be nice to dedicate each update to some member of the SC4 community that has had an influence on the creation of this MD in big or small ways. It's just my way of saying thanks!]

Personal replies:

nedalezz: Thank you for the warm welcome, and first post in my MD.

pvarcoe: Thank you! I hope you will appriciate the rest of the updates too.

petercintn: Thanks! And I certainly hope that I will learn something myself. If anyone else can pick up a pointer or two it would make me proud.

dedgren: Thank you for making me feel welcome David. I love islands myself. In fact I almost have an obsession with them since childhood when I used to look at maps of far away tropical islands. I blame Astrid Lindgren (author of Pippi Longstockning) for that. Pippis father was "king" of a tribe on tropical island as people my age or older will probably recall.

kwakelaar: Thank you! I tried quite a few terrain mods before settling for this combo. I'm glad you liked it.

myers2043: Yeah, I used to play Tropico every once in a while. Even though this is not a carribean island I still think it would be very nice if I managed to create some of the same vibe as that game.

Yoder7652: Thanks. I'll do my very best.

Serkanner: Thank you, and I won't let you wait any longer.

bat: Thanks!

Air6: Thanks! I'm going to need it.  :)

Vallo Corte
(or emilin's first encounter with NoMaxis)

Don't expect daily updates, but I thought that since I just started out I might show off a little more, before I get lazy.

Valle Corte is one of the few agricultural sites on Zafiro and it looks like this from the region shot (it's the developed area in the middle):

This is the first time I am using the NoMaxis mod by Dusktrooper and it's really essential to controlling growables. I didn't expect it to quite so hard to use though, but I'm learning as I go along.

I realised that I had to move some growables out of the plugins folder to get the desired lots to grow. This seems to be especially true for 1x1 lots, that I find very hard to control by taxing.

For Valle Corte I wanted to grow mostly these lots, called Casa Coloniales:

Though I managed to get some growth, I ended up with villages completely dominated by this:

Now, that is BAT that I was planning to use for more urban areas, but obviously it looks weird in a rural environment (I didn't save any screen shots from the early development, but I guess you can imagine how it looked).

But, removing all of the lots with that particular building solved the problem, and I finally grew the nice little coloured buildings I wanted:

Another thing I don't understand with the NoMaxis mod is how it blocks the lots, and why it appears to let some Maxis content grow under some circumstances even though they should be blocked.

I blocked ALL Maxis content (except farms) including industrial lots, and still managed to grow this:

I see only one lot that isn't Maxis in that shot, something that buggles me?

Here's a small fishing village and I see several low dense Maxis lots here too:

It's not really a big issue, I just need to understand why this happens so I can control it better. The mod is still "da bomb" as Alek put it.


Enough with the rantings, now for some eyecandy (with occational comments):

Tacos and tatoos anyone?  ;D

I really like the look of this small "centro commercial".

There's a bump in the road, I KNOW! I will fix it later.

I understand that fishermen likes cheap drinks, but karaoke... really?

Tacos and porn, maybe? Maybe I shouldn't have installed those SimGoober lots. :)

I just LOVE that small café on the corner.

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Quotebut I thought that since I just started out I might show off a little more, before I get lazy.

Heh!  Nobyody who's done as much work as shows in your last update gets to call himself "lazy" in my book.

Wonderful pics, Emil.

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


Beautiful scenery emilin! Love the hispanic background on this MD, not usually something I follow, but here at SC4D everything is so high quality! Great work!


Sure karaoke, what else is the fisherman going to do after all those cheap drinks (don't answer that!)?  Those little buildings sure brighten the place up!  and they're sooooooooo cute!
My name is Vicki
Fred and Ginger were my doggies
RIP my babies


What a reward of an update this is ... I have enjoyed watching every pictures of it and could almost pictures myself being on vacation on these islands ... ah, I wish summer was here again.


Wonderful update! Great development!


Wow - that is a great MD you started. I'm looking forward to following this, the atmosphere that you show in your pictures is warm (almost Caribean) and Nordic) at the same time. Very interesting! Good job &dance

I had the same experience as you with the Vizcaya block - until I moved it to the archive... The building is great, but too much gives it a very slummy look.
Check my MD:               


¡Muy bonitas las Islas!

Great pictures, I'll be having a close look to the development.

Visit my new MD: Emerita Augusta 1910 - http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=15184.0