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Building a port - the hard way

Started by emilin, March 18, 2007, 04:25:10 AM

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[Disclaimer: You do not want to read this if you are not specifically interested in sea ports! It's long, wordy and full of ungamerelated issues.]

This is the compiled and edited version of my Thoughts on Ports series, initially started in Province of Lazarus, now carried over in Developing Islas Gemas. It is supposed to be an indepth tutorial on portmaking in SC4, but I realize that I sometimes dwell to long on, well... let's call it as it is, shall we: facts and figures for port NERDS. Use it to whatever extent you find it useful. Skip the rest.

I will go rather deep into most issues on portmaking, but I will NOT tell you how to terraform your port. There are already to very good tutorials available on that issue by jeronij and wounagaine.


Building a port - the hard way, part I

Why should I want to build a port in SC4?
Because they can be quite beautiful if you like the grittier side of the game. And because it's a real challenge. Even though some new BAT:s from SOMY has raised the bar considerably, it's still considerably less than the stuff available for building air ports. And terraforming a decent port is not an easy task. You can get a real sense of accomplishment from building good sea ports.

Can't I just use the ingame ports?
They look nothing like real ports, and they tend to be very ugly. The ingame ports can be used as single piers in your custom port, but I have personally decided to stop using them altogether.

What do I need to build a good port?
Everything you can get your hands on! I will provide lists with links in some later post, but start off with a search on STEX for "Sea Port", "Heavy Industry", "jeronij" and "fukuda" and you will have something to start off with. And you DO need the new SOMY

Realism and SC4 ports

Striving for realism is good, but it's more important to work with the game. SC4 wasn't build for realism and trying to achieve it at any cost often results in something both ugly and very unrealistic. I think it's better to make it "look realistic" than actually copying reality.

When it comes to sea ports this problem becomes blatantly obvious. Even a midsize commercial port these days have capacity to take on vessels up to 250 meters in length. The bigger ports often handle several ships of 320-350 meters at the same time. There just isn't room for that kind of ports in the game, and besides that none of the available BAT:s even come close to a realistic scale when it comes to cargo ship size.

Let's have a look at the biggest ship ever built – the tanker Jahre Viking (currently renamed Knock Nevis and rebuilt into a floating storing device permanently moored in the Persian Gulf) – compaired to the Empire State building:

The Jahre Viking is 458 meters long, so the example is rather extreme, but that is only about 100 meters longer than the very common Maersk S-Class container ships that can be seen in ports around the world.

Considering the ingame scale a ship of that size would take up a quarter of a medium city tile on its own. You would have to build single quays stretching over several cities just to accommodate for a reasonably sized container terminal.

So, we basically have to pretend that things are smaller then they actually are to achieve realism in this case. This works very well, but you need to remember this when building the port structures, not just when you're placing the ships.

Different kinds of ports

When building a port you have to consider what kind of port you are building. What does it actually do? What kind of geography was it built in? What kind of financial resources were available to transform the environment? What role does the port play compaired to rest of your city's economy?

Ports look very different depending on their use. Export ports are often very onesided in their architecture. Here's a picture of parts of the Jubail oil port in Saudi-Arabia, a typical one good export harbour, in this case: crude oil.

Once again: note the size! That tanker entering (or is it leaving?) the port is 250m long!

Here's another example, the Sao Luis port in Brazil. This is one of the largest bulk ports for export of red iron in the world:

Now, that's one big pile of ore right there!

As you can see from these examples export ports are often focused on one (or just a couple) of goods, so if you're building a port in a city with great natural resources you should probably think about that one you make your port too (there are naturally exceptions to this rule) 

Import and transit ports are generally more diverse in their appearance. It's also more common to have big industrial areas in the close vicinity of import ports. You wouldn't really need a refinery in an oil EXPORT port now, would you?

This here is the port of Hamburg. Note the diversity of different terminals. Also note the dominance of container facilities that is typical of a modern import and transit port:

Geography and financial muscle also influence the appearance of ports. If you compare two of the biggest and most important ports in the world today, the Port of Rotterdam (know as the Europoort) and the Port of Shanghai you can see that they are very different. Both are located in similar environments at first glance, but they are in fact very different. The Rotterdam port has some of deepest berths in the world (almost 25 meters in the deepest harbours) while Shanghai has difficulty dealing with ships with draughts more than 12-13 meters depending on tides. This does not necessarily mean smaller ships or less commerce, but we'll get to that bit later.

The Europoort.

The port of Shanghai is too big to get a decent Google Earth shot at. This is just a very small part of it.

Culture and politics clearly matters too. This is port Jebel Ali in Dubai, the biggest man made harbour in the world. Like everything in Dubai it looks masterplanned from the start. That's because it is. No organic development here:

Big city, big port, right? Not at all. Many big cities rely on other things than their ports. On the contrary, a commercially dominated SC4 city should probably have a few smaller transit harbours and cruise ports rather than a big port complex.

On the other hand a medium size industrial city can have a huge port. This is a picture of Gothenburg in Sweden (where I grew up). As you can see the port is almost as big the city itself:

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Building a port, the hard way, part II

Ports today don't function or look the way they did 10-15 years ago. For a number different reasons they are much more complex these days.

The first, and most important, change compaired to earlier times, is the drastic increase in container transhipments. Most of the major import- and transitports around the world are completely dominated by container terminals – the most important exception being The Port of Rotterdam that handles almost all of Europes primary import of crude oil, but that is also changing rapidily with the future building of new gigantic container terminals outside the current Maasvlakte. In fact, these days, the common way to measure the importance of an international port is in container tonnage.

Massive container terminal in Hong Kong.

For SC4 this is actually a good thing. It's fairly easy to build good looking and realistic container terminals. Put them everywhere. Got a spare piece of shoreline? A container terminal. Refinery looking ugly? Tear it down and build another container terminal. Feeling bored? Hey, way not blow up the cathedral and build a container terminal?

The other big change concerns transhipment of crude oil. In the good old days the supertankers were the behemoths of the high seas. And ports were planned accordingly. In connection to the deepest berths were massive harbours with storage units and refineries. Many ports still have oil jetties reaching far out into the deeper parts of the sea to cater for oil carriers with to much draught to enter the proper ports.

But then: the Exxon Valdes accident happened. And new international safety and environmental regulations were imposed. These days all new tankers are required to have double hulls, making ships like this and this virtually impossible to build anymore. Added to that should also be the technological breakthroughs that drastically decreases the draught of large tanker ships, making many of the deep sea petroleum harbours obsolete.

Don't get me wrong: super tankers are still impressive vessels but they are no longer the biggest and badest girls in town. That title now goes to the largest container ships. The Emma Maersk is currently the longest ship to sail the seas. At almost 400 meters she is more than 70 meters longer than the average contemporary super tanker.

Container ships have another advantage over tankers: their draught is 10-15 meters at most (as compaired to the supertankers of the 1990s with draught in excess of 20 meters, going as high as 26 meters in the most extreme cases), making it possible for them to enter most of the worlds ports.

Where do the different harbour types go in the port?

Weather you are building a small port or a massive one, you should consider building the different harbours in clusters. In a small or medium sized port there is probably going to be one habour for liquid bulk, another for dry bulk and one or more container terminals (if you are going for a truly massive port this may no longer be quite as visible at first glance, but there should still be clearly defined clusters with different functions).

The usual way of placing these functions is 1. liquid bulk where the water is the deepest (the Somy off shore oil jetty is very good for realism since you can put the offloading unit outside the actual port if it looks to small to have a realistic depth for handling big tanker ships), 2. dry bulk comes next, and 3. container terminals a bit further inland. Really massive container terminals are sometimes placed a long way out in the harbour, not because they need water depth but because they take up huge space.

Classic port planning in Lisabon, Portugal.

If your port city is fairly old (like most European ports, or those on the east coast of the US) you can add general cargo areas – often referred to as "free harbours" and outdated older piers and berths to this. These areas should be located further inland and closer to the downtown areas than the newer harbours.

You can also add marinas, drydocks and fishing docks that can be put basically anywhere.

Fishing docks can often be located very far out from the centre port area since they might not have been part of the port when it was originally built.

Drydocks are facilities for repairing and building big ships. They are not dependent on deep harbours since the ships transported there are never loaded with goods. Hence they can be places far out to sea, or close to the city centre, depending on where they fit.

Marinas also go pretty much anywhere where there is space left. There is a common notion in the SC4 community that since marinas are luxury items they should not be mixed with dirty industries and such. In the real world, though, it doesn't matter how rich the people owning the yachts are, they still don't have enough money to outweight the corporate profits of an industrial harbour.

[On a side note: all of the above applies only if you are striving for realism in your ports. A good port complex in SC4 can be a mess of different industry BAT:s and still look extremely good. That's up to you!]

Other items and special cases

LNG (liquid natural gas) harbours are not very usual in European and American ports, but very common in Asian ports. But since the new Somy BAT:s are so good, most people are going to want to use the LNG stuff even if they are not building an Asian city. The one thing you should think about is that natural gas is extremely explosive (much worse than crude oil). You don't have to put the LNG pier halfway to nowhere, but you should never put it close to residential or business areas.

If your port is importing crude oil you are likely to have at least one refinery in the close vicinity of it. It doesn't have to be in direct contact with the oil docks themselves (pipelines work just fine) but it often is. Refineries are massive structures that look a bit like alien entities of some kind (at least in my humble opinion, lol) and there really is no need to remake them accurately. Just put every refinery BAT you've got in there, and surround it with lots of pipes and fueltanks and you'll be fine.

The shell refinery in Rotterdam.

I have no idea if this monstrosity would actually produce petroleum, or moonshine, but it looks a little bit like the real thing, don't you think?

Most ports have large fresh water reservoirs located within or close to the port area. These are used for cleaning out cargo ships, cooling machinery, etc. The water in them is most often fairly green so I use Pegasus canal lots in combination with the Maxis water treatment plants to create them.

OK, I modded them a little in the Lot Editor, but the basic plants work just fine too.


Every port needs a good transportation network. Rails, roads and pipelines are a necessity. You do need to think about where to put different types of transportation, though. For instance, a large part of your average port is probably dominated by rails. That doesn't mean that everything is transported by train, or even need rail access.

Trains are the main transportation device for carrying containers and general cargo inland. A container harbour needs lots of rail to be realistic.

This is actually one of four railyards I used for my biggest container terminal.

Dry bulk harbours also need rail access, but to a lesser degree than container terminals. Actually, the most common way to transport ore or coal to further destinations is by large barges but this is not really possible in SC4 due to the lack of barge BAT:s available. So you either can pretend that the bulk is transported by train, or put relevant industries in connection to the harbour (like a steel mill, or a coal plant).

Barges loading on the left. Bulkers unloading on the right.

In this case we just have to pretend that the smaller bulker is actually loading ore or coal for further transport inland.

Oil harbours doesn't really need rail access at all. The crude oil either goes directly to a refinery or is transferred through pipelines or by other, smaller, tanker ships.

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Building a port - the hard way, part III

Alright, now we're closing in on the actual building process. Still some way to go before we get there though. This edition of Thoughts on Ports focuses on the BAT:s and plugins needed to build a good SC4 port. These are of course not all of the available port related plugins out there, but they are "the essentials", so to speak.

I have not included marinas and naval bases here (but they aren't that hard if find if you need them). Neither have I included the industrial stuff that I normally use. You will need a selection of industrial BAT:s but you can basically chose any good ones you like from the LEX or STEX (I like the stuff from Simgoober and Gascooker myself – especially for the older port areas – but anything goes).


There are two important set of walls that you need to download: Pegasus CDK industrial style and Jeronijs shore conforming Seawalls. There are advantages and disadvantages to both of them – and sadly they don't blend very well together, but you are likely to be needing both of them anyway.

Pegs lots "dig in" to the shoreline while jrjs lots are conforming to the shore so you will have to consider that when terraforming the shoreline. Pegs lots are easier to use and get a very good looking result from, but they lack diagonal pieces. So unless you are going to make a completely square port you will need jrjs walls for that reason alone (they have other advantages too, but the diagonals are what makes them unavoidable).

A good complement to these walls are jrjs breakwater set. It's not really an essential, but it looks really really good so you will probably want to use it.

jeronij's seawalls (search for uploader "jeronij", page 4)
jeronij's breakwater (search for uploader "jeronij", page 4)
Pegasus CDK walls (look for "CDK" in the download area, known as PLEX)

Docks and lots

So, what to use for the actual docks, quays and piers? There are several good options here, but none of them perfect for every thinkable port. You don't need all of them, but you need chose wisely depending on what you would like to achive. And you might want to bring out the LE to make some custom lots (it's rather easy if you have some good docks and stuff to start from).

My personal favourite among the port lots is Japanese batter NOB:s set (not on STEX but downloadable link can be found below this section). They have greyish tone that looks absolutely realistic in any port. And with the old storage buildings they are perfect for an older, slightly run down, port. And the crane props alone are worth the download. Get them now!

For a more modern look the new Somy lots are clean and extremely well detailed. You can also consider using Fukudas harbour pack, or jrjs industrial docks. If you really fall in love with the NOB set (like I did) you can modernize it by removing some of the storage facilities in the Lot Editor.

I have also listed several downloads for more specific purposes. If you are making a small port you might not need all of them, but check them out and chose for yourself.

NOB:s port set
SOMY:s port set
jeronij's cargo docks (search for uploader "jeronij", page 1)
Fukuda's harbor pack
Vandy shipping
Pegasus garbage dock
Fukuda's coal docks
Fukuda's oil pier
Fukuda's drydock
SOMY:s fishing port
Pegasus CSK canal lots (look for "CSK" in the download area, known as PLEX)


Well, you are going to need ships if your port is going to look good. Lately a good number of high class ship BAT:s have been released making realistic port building so much easier. The two most notable examples are Somys and jrjs releases of the two best ship sets ever to come to this game. If you only download those two sets you will have more than you need (but of course you will want even more). The Somy ships are slightly underscaled in my opinion but in combination with the bigger jrj container ships you have a complete set of modern commercial tradeships. A set of older cargo ships uploaded to the STEX by jestarr can also be very useful, especially for variation.

Beside the above mentioned ship BAT:s there are several very good looking ships included in some of the dock lots. Most noticeable are probably Pegasus new Vandy shipping, with two excellent general cargo ships, and Fukudas Coal docks with a medium sized bulkship that has a lovely tarnished look to it.

jeronij's container ships (search for uploader "jeronij", page 4-5)
SOMY:s ships
NACM cargo ships
Vandy shipping
Fukuda's coal docks
Sim Gyon Bon port
Fukuda's harbor pack
Pegasus scows

For your refinery

Refineries are so common in port areas so I included some links, though I stated earlier in this post that I wouldn't include industrial BAT:s. So, sue me.

SOMY:s refinery pieces
Tag One's ploppable refinery units
Fukuda's distiller units

Odd BAT:s

jeronij's maritime control tower (search for uploader "jeronij", page 1)

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Building a port - the hard way, part IV

In part IV we will have a closer look at Port Remington from the Province of Lazarus, how it correlates to its counterpart in reality, and what was actually used to build it.

Port Remington is a semirealistic building project. It was never meant to be an exact copy of a real port, but I modelled it after the Port of Rotterdam, also known as the Europoort. The real port, however, is much larger (probably about 4-5 times larger) but since it took me nearly two months to finish Port Remington, and I still haven't seen any examples of a bigger SC4 port, you will have to forgive me for scaling it down.

The Europoort is clearly visible from a mindblowing 207 mile altitude shot in Google Earth. As you may notice, the city of Rotterdam is NOT visible from this distance. The port is in fact much bigger than the city itself – it stretches all the way up to Hook of Holland.

When we move in a little closer we can make out the features of the harbours making up the port. This shot is a little blurry, but you can still see it stretching all the way from the left to the far right of the picture. The actual city of Rotterdam is located northeast of the port.

Hmmm... I wasn't really sure about going into details like this but what the heck – let's take a quick tour of the port before we move on.

Below is a picture of the Maasvlakte. This is the newest and deepest part of the port. To the top left (just inside the "crooked arm") is the 8th Petroleum Haven that can handle ships up to 500.000 DWT (there are currently no tankers in service that are bigger than that), and the reddish area just above where Google Earth says "Europort" is the EECV bulk import quay, most famous as one of two possible berths where the worlds largest bulker (the Berge Stahl) can call (actually this isn't completely true, but I learned long ago not get into arguments about facts and figures on the internet so I'll let it stand).

A little further inland we can see the petroleum harbours and refineries along the Caland Canal. This is a heavily dredged waterway for large ships. The difference in watercolour is actually difference in water depth too.

Even further inland we have the older petroleum harbours, and some container facilities, and also some wharfs.

And the really old parts of the port are the most eclectic. A little bit of everything around here. To the north is the city center of Rotterdam, by the way.

Ok, let's move on to how I tried to implement this into SC4. First we have the overview of the entire port (click for larger view):

As you can see I have tried to maintain the main concept of the original port, but I have scaled it down and taken considerably liberties with the placement of different functions. I have also added stuff that isn't really there – mainly the LNG facilities and the sweet water harbour. Instead of eight petroleum harbours I have only three.

To make this port I made tonnes of custom lots, but none of them require any advanced Lot Editor competence. Most of them were just different simple fillers – and if you for some reason don't feel like making your own filler lots I'm sure you can find some to download. For the rest of them it was mostly a question of rearranging and removing stuff from original lots that were to "crowded" for what I wanted.

In the following pictures I have marked out the essential custom content used. I think that most of you will be able to recognize the abbreviations used, but if you don't you can just ask and I'll be happy to explain. Many lots have been customized, but I have marked who the original author of them is.

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Building a port – the hard way, part V

Time to build a port from scratch then. I will now go into detail about the development of the port of Santiago de Zafiro in Islas Gemas. Santiago is loosely based on Santa Cruz de Tenerife, but scaled down to about one third of the size. This will also have impact on the port, but I will try to maintain the overall concept as good as I can.

First we take a look at the real life counterpart with the assistance of Google Earth. Here's an overview of the port of Santa Cruz. As you can see it is a quite complicated structure built in difficult terrain:

And here's a closer shot of the port divider:

Just to the south (outside of the overview shot) is a rather interesting structure. It's an old oil jetty, with tanks on the sure and what looks like rudimentary refinery site (the brownish clutter in the middle). The size of that tanker is about 150m which leads me to believe that the water is not extremely deep, at least not for a petroleum harbour. The fact that it is located outside the normal port, however, hints that it is an early deep sea terminal. Though refinery items are present it is reasonable to assume that this is mostly used for import of oil intended for power plants - not refining into petroleum. They're not big enough for that:

When we move a little further up the site we enter an old container terminal. Once again, the size of the ships tells us that the water is comparably shallow. I'm not sure what those ships berthed at the pier actually are (due to bad picture quality). They could be some cargo ships, fishing trawlers, dredgers or even the coast guard. Your guesses are as good as mine:

Just inside the container harbour is a marina:

As we move along to the "upside" of the divider it looks like a large cruise port. Not at all surprising considering the kind of island Tenerife is. We can also see another marina structure just at the edge of the cruise port that looks absolutely beautiful. I will show a close up of that structure too:

When we look at the remaining part of the port it becomes obvious that it is to a large extent actually two ports, and that the later part is much more modern and probably also located in deeper waters. Here we see a container terminal with huge ships (one is over 300m) and also another oil jetty (just outside this picture is a tanker ship of over 250m that is obviously exiting from that jetty):

And just above the modern part of the port is some sort of fishing harbour/marina:

So, if we go back and summarize what can be seen in the overview shot, it is something like this (obviously a lot of it is my speculations, so please correct me if you have better information):

That was the original port, now let's see what we can use. This is the spot I'm going to use:

Since it is much smaller I cannot maintain the structure with two of everything (one old and one modern) so I have chosen to stick to the older structures. It seems to me that Islas Gemas is a little less developed than the real Islas Canarias, so it seem like the proper way to do it. The next is a shot of the same spot when basic terraforming has been done:

The terrain is difficult to begin with, and to add to that is that it is located on three different city tiles (who said this was going to be easy, hehe). We will start of with the oil terminal to the south. It simple wasn't possible to put a jetty there like the real life counter part has, so I had to terraform a complete terminal in one location. It does look a bit square, but not unrealistic in my opinion. There are certainly oil ports that look like this in real life too:

Time to add the oil jetty. I'm using Fukuda's oil pier here. A wonderful BAT, but HELL to place correctly. Very careful terraforming is needed first. Something like this:

The oil jetty is put in place:

For the seawalls I wanted to use something new, so I thought that PEG:s CDK3 would be nice. I have edited away all the trucks and lorries (that seemed inappropriate for an oil harbour) but no advanced lot editing other than that. It also turned out to be one of the easiest sea walls to place, so I can highly recommend it for use:

Now, we add the land structures. Mostly oil tanks, with some refinery pieces (pretty close to the real life version). All added BAT:s in this picture was made by SOMY:

Ports in general, and oil ports specifically, are high security facilities so we have to add some fences too:

And we finish the area by adding some dirty industry (which can also be clearly seen in the real life version):

And, of course, an oil tanker by SOMY:

In the end it looks like this:

Now, let's move on to the central parts of the port. I forgot to take a shot before placing the first pieces of the container terminal, but here's how it looked with the first structures in place:

Those are all NOB ports, but I have taken away the old warehouses in the Lot Editor (again, nothing advanced, just the easy editing stuff). Now comes the explanation to what toook me so long to finish. For some reason I decided use modified versions of jeronij's earliest shore conforming walls. I really, really, like the look of them, but I still recommend using his later walls instead because fine terraforming the terrain to fit them takes FOREVER. They are incredibly sensitive:

But, it can be done if you really want them. No need to worry about the corner piece right now. That can be covered up by underwater flora later:

Sadly, this diagonal had to go. There simply was no way to make it work with the walls (or any other walls for that matter). To bad, I liked the organic look of it:

But, SC4 is the art of the possible, so:

More walls added:

A canal exit too (there is one in the real life port as well but it doesn't show on Google earth because the river bed is dry most of the year):

And container lots and an old BAT called "beach club" that will have to represent the luxury marina in the real life port (I will add some pools and stuff later):

The container terminal is shaping up. You may notice the lack of trains and rails. This is perfectly logical on an island. You normally don't use that kind of transportation on islands, so there are none anywhere on Islas Gemas. That makes other means of transportation to the port necessary, so I added a truck and lorry garage and logistics centre:

The warehouses in the middle of this picture also functions as power plants (by RayDen, available on the LEX) which is a very nice feature:

Let's finish the main part of the port first. We begin with adding some underwater flora (very useful to cover up the corner pieces that wouldn't look very good when clearly visible):

We add one of SOMY:s ships at the container terminal. I will not be using jeronij's larger ships in this port since I consider the harbour to be too shallow for them. This smaller ship is better here:

For the cruise port I couldn't resist using this awesome looking, brand new, SOMY BAT:

And I have also used another older cruise ship by SOMY. This one is BIG! It'll have to berth at the outside of the pier. It might look a bit out of place in this small port, but I still think it's rather realistic. Unlike cargo ships, most passenger ships don't go very deep in the water so it could probably call here. If it did it would probably be a rare event... and it just so happens that when I was researching the Tenerife port I found a bunch of articles on the time when the world's larges cruise ship called there. So in this case I have the perfect excuse for using an oversized ship. :)

From some distance the cruise port now looks like this:

Then I did some more work on the recreation area in the middle of the port. I really like how it turned out. Not at all very far from the real thing, in my opinion:

We end with an overview of the entire area. That white monument to the far left looks pretty much like the consert hall that is located in that place in the real life counterpart. Smaller, but OK.

Now, it's time for the last part of the port. Located on yet another city tile. I decided to make this into a small fishing and cargo port with some marina facilities (quite like the northernmost part of the Tenerife port). First, a look at the empty area:

Jeronij's breakwater seemed perfect for the outside of the pier, and turned out to work just fine:

For the actual harbour I decided on Cal's new "old english" seawalls (available on the LEX) and I have to admit that I fell completely in love with them. Not only do they look wonderful, but they might be the easiest seawalls I have ever worked with:

And some more:

Underwater flora wasn't necessary for covering anything up this time, but it looks a bit more alive this way:

Some smaller ships were added after that. One is from National Aviation Club Member (uploaded on STEX by jestarr) and the other too are Peg's scows (and I still refuse to treat them as scows when they look so much like small cargo ships. Sorry about that if you ever read this, Peg, hehe...)

Additonal items were added. Some parking lots and stuff:

Zoom out, and we get this:

This is as far as I can go at this point. Now I have to work on blending the port into the rest of the surroundings. But that goes outside the purpose of this as a tutorial. Basically, we're done.

And from a region shot view, the finished port looks like this:

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BlackwaterEmil's inn
Berethor ♦ beskhu3epnm ♦ blade2k5 ♦ dmscopio ♦ dedgren
♦ Emilin ♦ Ennedi ♦ Heblem ♦ jplumbley ♦ moganite ♦ M4346 ♦
papab2000 ♦ Shadow Assassin ♦ Tarkus ♦ wouanagaine


Hi emilin ,

As already said there and here , I'll have no time for the next months to train myself with this higher quality tutorial ... :'(
Anyway , you have to be as highly congratulate for this .
Definitely " put under my elbow " , a french phrase meaning something like "pinned for later" . Thanks .

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emilin, hello and thank you for the effort invested here... a fascinating tutorial...


This is not a tutorial at all! This reads as  great novel about a fascinating subject. As I was born in Rotterdam myself I have always had an interest in ports and stuff and in every city I build I try to create one.

With this wonderful explanations about real world ports and its functions, and great examples of how to incorporate them into the game I know I will get back to port building again.

Thank you very much for the hard work you put into this and I am looking forward to every or any new installment.



GREAT tutorial. I'm building a port myself right now and found this fascinating. Thanks! :thumbsup:
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Totuna e dac-ai murit flăcău ori moş îngârbovit;
Dar nu-i totuna leu să mori ori câine-nlănţuit.


Once again SC4 is kicked into the next dimension by the kind of work that folks pay commissions for in RL.

I've said elsewhere, Emil, that you own ports as a SC4 development genre.  After reading this, I'm afraid to even think about a port without asking your permission.

This. Is. Amazing. Work!

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


I agree with David. LOL!

I think I won't be doing ports anymore! :P You are just too good! I do love the "tutorial" though... looking forward to its completion!  &apls
New Horizons Productions
Berethor ♦ beskhu3epnm ♦ blade2k5 ♦ dedgren ♦ dmscopio ♦ Ennedi
emilin ♦ Heblem ♦ jplumbley ♦ moganite ♦ M4346 ♦ papab2000
Shadow Assassin ♦ Tarkus ♦ wouanagaine


As I've said before, I'm not all that interested in ports (not 'girlie' enough for me) but as someone who loves to read and learn things, this is really fantastic information! &apls &apls &apls
My name is Vicki
Fred and Ginger were my doggies
RIP my babies


This a fantastic presentation.  :thumbsup: Thank you so much for this.  I live several hundred kilometers from the nearest industrial port and never really knew anything about them or had much interest in them, but due to your excellent presentation I found myself completely fascinated by the subject (and am now downloading a bunch of the stuff you mention.)  I don't know how much port-making I'll actually get around to doing in the game, but I'm sure the next time I go to Seattle or Portland or wherever, I'll look at the port areas with a little more interest, and have more of a clue what I'm looking at.  ;D


Amazing harbors!!! fantastic tutorial, a bunch of new ideas  &idea and thank you for the links  :D


This is absolutley amazing.  Great read for anyone who is going to make a port.  Great work and thanks for all those links.

&apls :thumbsup: &apls :thumbsup:
Call me Robin, please.


   The sound you just heard was my jaw hitting the ground.     I think you should take out the first line of this tutorial:
Quote[Disclaimer: You do not want to read this if you are not specifically interested in sea ports! It's long, wordy and full of ungamerelated issues.]
And replace it with:   EVERYONE should read this !!!
   It was mesmerizing to me.    The combination of real pics and screen shots was fantastic.     Thanks for showing us.   And don't stop please.   I am looking forward to the rest of this tutorial.   


They say that the memory is the second thing that goes....
...dang , I wish I could remember the first.
WooHoo made Councilman - 05 FEB 07 Yipee made Mayor - 13 MAR 07 Hip Hip Hooray made Governor - 04 AUG 07 Rock On made Senator - 15 MAR 09


This is one of the best how to tutorial ever made !
I've used the one from Province of Lazarus,  it nice to see such a big tuto here !

New Horizons Productions
Berethor ♦ beskhu3epnm ♦ blade2k5 ♦ dmscopio ♦ dedgren ♦ emilin ♦ Ennedi ♦ Heblem ♦ jplumbley
M4346 ♦ moganite ♦ Papab2000 ♦ Shadow Assassin ♦ Tarkus ♦ wouanagaine
Divide wouanagaine by zero and you will in fact get bad-ass that is - Alek King of SC4


Well done, even I can understand it... One day I'll hope to make as nice ports as you do! &apls
Check my MD:               


It is a very well made tutorial, and interesting to read. Great work Emilin &apls