Dixie Landin' -- Episode 7.5: SCIENCE!

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Offline Bullethead

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Dixie Landin' -- Episode 7.5: SCIENCE!
« on: April 16, 2018, 09:56 PM »
EPISODE 1:  Are You Kidding Me?!?!?!?!?!?

Bullethead stumbled into his office for the first time in 6 months or so, he couldn't remember.  He'd been on a bender ever since his private jet had rotated off the runway back in Nicotina at the end of the Quarantine Island project, as his mercenaries were barely keeping the Dictator's Guards regiment off the runway.  If any SAMs were going to chase him over the horizon, he'd wanted to be drunk when they hit.  After that, it was all a blur.  Acuña, Tijuana, Olongaopo, Pattaya Beach, he'd lost track.  And several other important things.  Somebody would pay for this!  Oh yeah, that would be himself, boss of Bullethead Sweatshop Industries.  And the Dictator of Nicotina, to get his park working again after the airstrikes.  Calling those in was Bullethead's last clear thought in who know's how long?  He snickered at this happy memory.

He looked at his desk.  It was buried under half a ton of paper and covered in cobwebs.  "Mi mas rausim haus bilong spaida," he thought, then wondered where he'd picked that up that turn of phrase.  Papua-New Guinea was as good a guess as any.  Oh well, best to roll with it as this was his first coherent thought in seemingly forever.  But "rausim haus bilong spaida" made Bullethead spend several minutes trying to do just that to his mind, clearing the cobwebs.  Eventually, he remembered he had subordinates who were supposed to keep his desk clear.  What were their names?  How to summon them?  Bullethead's eye fell on an empty bourbon bottle in a corner, then to the heavily scarred and dented area of the wall right above.  Oh yeah, that was how.  He picked up the bottle and banged it on the damaged part of the wall as hard as his hangover allowed.

Immediately, there was a scuffle of shuffling feet outside the office and then the strange, oblong, and greenish visage of Jaysef looked in cautiously around the door with an expression of glum cheerfullness or cheerful glumness, Bullethead wasn't sure which.

"Husat?" demanded Bullethead, brandishing the empty bourbon bottle.

"Sir, it is I, Jaysef, at your service, Sir!  Good to see you back from your vacation, Sir.  You're looking.... like you had a very good time, Sir!"

"Yu toktok wanem?  Yu klinim ofis bilong mi nau, o mi paitim yu long het bilong yu long dispela botol!", said Bullethead as he brandished the bottle threatenling, all the while wondering what the Hell he was saying.

Jaysef sighed but still said "Yes, Sir!  At once, Sir!  Let me get some help, though, Sir."   With that, he withdrew.  A moment later, Bullethead heard the scuffling of many feet and numerous indistinct but imperative whispers outside his office.  After a minute, Jaysef's strange head reappeared around the corner of Bullethead's office door.  "Still feeling chipper, Sir?", he said.

"Yu rausim haus bilong spaida nau!" demanded Bullethead, waving the bottle wildly and pointing at his desk.

"As you wish, Sir," replied Jaysef cheefully, and then he withdrew again.  An instant later, Bullethead's office door was smashed open by a gang of BSI security goons in full riot gear.  They stormed in, tackled Bullethead, and inserted several IVs of proprietary substances into his veins.  In due time, Bullethead's struggles ceased and, after a brief intermission, he returned to his normal, but not usual, self.

*********************

"So olgeta dispela, em i wanem samting?----er, I mean, what's all this, then?" asked Bullethead as he sipped his 3rd cup of coffee after his recovery.  "Why can't you all take a vacation at the same time I do?"

"Well, Sir," replied Jaysef, "there was some difficulty between the Swiss and Bahamian banks involved so the Dictator's last payment for Quarantine Island was hung up for a while.  It's cleared now but in the meantime, we had to scrounge for cashflow.  In your absence, I took the liberty of accepting a new job.  This pile of paper is just informational stuff.  Nothing needs your signature."

"So, we're going to some paradisical tourist destination this time, right?"

"I'm afraid not, Sir.  We're not exactly a high-profile firm.  So I'm afraid we're once again bound for 'a pestilential tropical Hellhole with a despotic government and no economy to speak of', as you said at the beginning of the Quarantine Island project."

"ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?"

"I'm afraid not, Sir.  However, on the plus side, that's just the setting we're trying to reproduce.  We'll actually be working in some remote and nameless place in a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty with the US.  Our client has... um... retired.... there but wants to recreate a portion of the land of his birth, the part that gave him the most joy.  Of course, the actual setting isn't much different, except it's a bit less despotic, a bit less tropical, and has a bit more of an economy.  We'll be ignoring all that for construction purposes, though."

"Mi ken---I mean, I can hardly wait.  So what are we doing, specifically?"

"Well, Sir, we're going to recreate a place called Dixie Landin' and, if things work out, its tragically conjoined twin, Blue Bayou.  These 2 parks in 1 are located on the outskirts of Baton Rouge, LA in real life but we'll be bringing this 'little slice of heaven' to another land that previously had no hope of enjoying such things."

"Oh bloody Hell," said Bullethead.  "Where did I stash my booze in here?  Oh yeah.  OK, let's have a drink while you tell me about this project."

*************************

"well, Sir," Jaysef began as he rummaged around for the appropriate pictures, "to make an accurate model of the real place, the 1st requirement was to make sure it faced the same direction as the original, so the shadows would fall in the right directions at the right times.  To this end, after clearing the site, we built a sundial to determine the direction true north, adjusted for Daylight Savings Time, as this park is only open in the summer.

[

"Having done this," Jaysef continued, "we laid out the general perimeter of the park oriented to the direction of true north.  The real thing in sandwiched between I-10, Highland Rd, and Perkins Rd."



"This is just a placeholder showing where the peeps will arrive.  The arch is a peep-spawner, in case you've never seen one.  It's there to pretend to welcome the peeps as they get off the bus."



Jaysef showed another photo.  "Thus, however, is not a placeholder.  It's replica of of the actual park admissions building that greets the customers as they make their way across the parking lot or arrive by tour bus."



"From the admissions building, the customers will access the park via a narrow, rusty bridge across Highland Rd.  The same narrow bridge is used by customers going home.  There is unlikely to be much of a traffic jam on this bridge.  It's surrounded by chain link fencing to deter suicidal customers from jumping into the traffic on Highland Rd, a 6-lane state highway."





"After crossing Highland Rd., the customers will see the park office building.  Here you can buy a season pass, as opposed to a priority pass.  But 1 price of admission covers both the Dixie Landin' amusement (not theme) park and the conjoined Blue Bayou water park.  Again, this is not a placeholder."





"And here's an overview of the start of this project," Jaysef concluded.  "The red lines are the APPROXIMATE boundaries we're working in.  We've also got some of the initial rides in place, although the 'Screaminator' is about twice as high as the original.  There are also 2 of the 4 coasters in the park, one each for adults and kids.  On the Perkins Rd. side there will be a kid-oriented area with a number of tiny rides under a pole barn, plus a Model T driving track."



Bullethead took another drink and twirled his moustaches idly.  At last he spoke.  "Orait---er, I mean 'OK'...  We're committed I guess, so it has to be.  I must have lost a bet to @JPalmighT or something while I was drunk.  But I understand he has a bunch of kiddie rides we can steal---er, I mean 'use'.  And I take it the coasters are off-the-shelf things, right?  OK, this will have to do until we get some real business.  Carry on."

Lukim yu long narapela taim---Er, I mean, 'See you next time".
« Last Edit: June 27, 2018, 07:59 PM by Bullethead »
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Offline Fisherman

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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 03:11 AM »
Omg!  You're a crazy man! Ha ha!  This is awesome.

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Offline AemJaY

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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 03:52 AM »
love your story ahaha. and i like the first steps and ideas!
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Offline Bullethead

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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 11:05 AM »
Omg!  You're a crazy man! Ha ha!  This is awesome.

Thanks!  I lack the talent to recreate one of the more ornate parks, and I lack the imagination and architectural background to invent my own ornateness, so copying a bare-bones park is the perfect thing for me :)

Rest assured, though, that I will try to be as faithful to the original as possible.  I'm 100% serious, the admissions gate and park office buildings really look as I built them, rather no-frills.  Have a look on GoogleMaps street view.  And when the time comes to flesh out "Parkinglotland", all the Victorian-looking lamp posts in front of the admissions building will be angled somewhat due to having had vehicles hit them :).

love your story ahaha. and i like the first steps and ideas!

Thanks!  I attempt to make the fictional story funny because the real story of the actual  park is rather sad.  The water park is carrying the business as the amusement park dies a slow death.  All the rides are in need of at least a paintjob and some need a thorough overhaul.  A number of the shops in the amusement park area are closed and, according to RCDB, the spinning coaster is defunct as of this year (good thing I rode it last year).  Hurricane Gustav, 10 years ago now, blew down the concert pavilion and that's never been rebuilt. 

Most if not all of the rides are 2nd or 3rd hand.  A few came from the long-gone Pontchartrain Beach in New Orleans and many of the kiddie rides came from the long-dead "Fun Fair Park" which was also in Baton Rouge.  When installed at Dixie Landin', the rides usually kept their previous theming (if any) and paint schemes.  This includes the previous name of the ride if that was painted on it somewhere, even if Dixie Landin' now calls it something else.  The result is a lack of any coherent theme.  There's also some inconsistency in the spellings of ride names.  For instance, you'll see both "Galaxi" and "Galaxy", and "Xtreme" and "Extreme".

EDIT:  Almost forgot....  They don't even use the admissions building per se anymore, either.  There are ticket windows in each side of each archway but they're closed up.  I can't decide if this is more due to security or to save on the air conditioner bill.  Anyway, they now have a few folding tables set up on the back porch where you both pay and empty your pockets and backpacks prior to entry.

Still, for all that, I enjoy going there once in a while.  It's got some fun rides, some of which are quite vintage and have long histories.  Besides, there's no other choice in this state.  And at least Dixie Landin' is doing better than Six Flags New Orleans :)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 11:43 AM by Bullethead »
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Online shyguy

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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2018, 01:36 PM »
I checked this out on Google Earth and it looks like a nice little ghetto park. And I see they spared no expense on themeing. :P

It'll be fun to see what you do with this.
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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2018, 02:16 PM »
I checked this out on Google Earth and it looks like a nice little ghetto park. And I see they spared no expense on themeing. :P

Well, it's not really in the ghetto, though.  The south end of Baton Rouge is where all the recent development is happening.  So there's a fairly affluent customer base nearby, and they really flock to the water park end of the establishment.  A fair number of bathers break up their day with a ride or 3, but few folks go there only for the rides, so there's never many cars in the huge parking lot (the size of the whole park) on the far side of the rusty bridge.  My own opinion of why this is, is that most of the rides are either too young for most bathers, or not that fun and/or comfortable.

The upshot of all this is that if the amusement end of the park has any overall theme at all, it's that of bikini-clad jailbait strolling around barefoot and dripping.  It's not uncommon to find the seats wet when you board one of the more popular rides :).

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Offline Grrt

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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2018, 02:41 PM »
You had me at 'sundial'  :D though you'll be sad to find that the game's sun path won't match the parks. I have a sneaking suspicion that they simply set their sun path at the equator in-game, and that it doesn't change throughout the year. So it just traces right overhead, though reality is it would be skewed a bit.



https://www.gaisma.com/en/location/baton-rouge-louisiana.html

If you REALLY wanted to be accurate, you'd have to account for all this somehow. Daylighting is a real mess of a thing to wrestle with.

(Side tidbit: all Disney castle's have their facades facing south so they are never in shadow.)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 02:43 PM by Grrt »

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Offline Bullethead

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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2018, 04:01 PM »
You had me at 'sundial'  :D though you'll be sad to find that the game's sun path won't match the parks. I have a sneaking suspicion that they simply set their sun path at the equator in-game, and that it doesn't change throughout the year. So it just traces right overhead, though reality is it would be skewed a bit. to wrestle with.

I have never noticed any seasonal changes in the sunlight throughout a year.  That is, the points on the horizon where the sun rises and sets do not vary with time, nor does the length of the shadow at local noon.  However, I have noticed the following items of useless trivia from messing with the sundial....

The following are for the Deciduous Map.  I haven't tried these experiments on the others so they might be different.

1.  Local solar noon is actually at 1300 (1pm), not 1200.  At this point in time, the shadow is the shortest and also points in a direction centered between the sunrise and sunset directions.  There are 2 possible explanations for this:

A.  Daylight Savings Time is in effect.
B.  The park's longitude is 15^ west of the designated center of its timezone, so just a few miles further to the west you'd be in another timezone.

Of these, I prefer A as the park is only open in the summer when DST is in effect.

2.  At local solar noon, the shadow is ALMOST, but not quite, aligned with the maps "world axes".  I figure this is intentional and that the slight offset is an accident.

3.  The directions of shadows cast at sunrise and sunset are close enough to being 180^ apart as to make no difference.  This means a seasonal position near one of the Equinoxes.

4.  The length of the shadow at local solar noon compared to the height of the pole casting it implies that the park is located about 25-30^ latitude off the effective equator.  Because the season is near an Equinox, the effective equator is the real Equator, not somewhere between there at one of the Tropics, so this 25-30^ is the actual latitude of the park.  In either hemisphere, take your pick.

All of this together actually makes the sun on the Deciduous Map act very much the same as it does in the Baton Rouge area at an Equinox.  Baton Rouge is like at 30^ N latitude and is in the US Central timezone,which is centered on nearby New Orleans (which is at 90^ W longitude), so there's no noticeable lag in local solar noon between the 2.  And these days, they start DST a week or 2 before the Vernal Equinox.

So all in all, if you assume the season is stuck in late-March to early-April, the sun and shadows are very close to what you see in Baton Rouge at that time of year.

Now, on the Summer Solstice, the sun is on the aptly named Tropic of Cancer, only 7^ south of Baton Rouge, so the sun effectively passes right overhead and it's miserable ;).
-Bullethead
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Offline Grrt

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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2018, 04:59 PM »
Certainly some interesting tidbits. I'd love to see a trace of the sun path throughout the day with azimuth and altitude numbers. You could use the casting pole to accomplish that pretty easily I would think. Also would be interested to know if the game has the sun act as a point source or a directional source. If it's a directional source all rays are parallel and there's no shadow change at extremes of the map vs the center or at extreme times of day. That would make the most sense computationally. And would wanna know how the indirect illumination is handled. That's probably the only factor keeping the game from implementing weather.

I've wanted to get into some solar stuff with the game since people seem to ignore it in park planning which sometimes results in awesome facades and stuff looking really flat and boring because they face North and don't get any direct sun.

Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2018, 06:40 PM »
Haha, I love it already.

This comment is not a placeholder.

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Offline Bullethead

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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2018, 08:44 PM »
Certainly some interesting tidbits. I'd love to see a trace of the sun path throughout the day with azimuth and altitude numbers.

When billboards first came out, some thoughtful soul made some textures with protractors on them.  They're on Workshop somewhere.  I downloaded them when they were new but completely forgot about them until just now.

If you're going for that sort of accuracy, however, you should probably use the straight 4m cable for the gnomon.  That's about the narrowest part straight-line part in the game.

Quote
Also would be interested to know if the game has the sun act as a point source or a directional source.

That's pretty easily done.  Just move the sundail around the map without rotating it.  I did some of this and found no difference, but even a fully expanded map from the scenario editor doesn't provide enough angular change from a very distant point source to be noticeable above the experimental error of the width of the shadow.  So I can't say which way it works.

What I did  notice, however, is that shadows act very strangely at night.  Last time I looked, the moon didn't move in the sky at all, but shadows still move at night, and they point in a direction completely unrelated to either the sun or the moon.  However, I didn't pay much attention to this because I wasn't interested at the time.  I've kinda ignored night shadows because I banish them with artificial light and also because even though the sun moves right through the moon's position every day, there's never any eclipse, so I'm thinking the moon is just a texture on the skybox behind the sun, and casts no light itself.

[/quote]I've wanted to get into some solar stuff with the game since people seem to ignore it in park planning which sometimes results in awesome facades and stuff looking really flat and boring because they face North and don't get any direct sun.[/quote]

This is the 1st time I've paid attention to the sun's direction myself.  Not that this park has any facades to worry about, but just because I plan on taking screenshots to compare to real photos and want the shadows the same.

Haha, I love it already.

This comment is not a placeholder.

You better love it.  This is all your fault, after all.  Now hurry up and build some more fake kiddie rides.  I need a total of 5 :).
-Bullethead
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Offline AemJaY

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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2018, 03:31 AM »
I checked this out on Google Earth and it looks like a nice little ghetto park. And I see they spared no expense on themeing. :P

It'll be fun to see what you do with this.

thnx shy for your idea :D iam also now on google maps. Well there will be some nice things coming i think.

Sry bullet i think i didnt understand that this is actually a real park ^^. (maybe my english is not that good sometimes) :D
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Offline Bullethead

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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2018, 08:14 AM »
Sry bullet i think i didnt understand that this is actually a real park ^^. (maybe my english is not that good sometimes) :D

You're English is way better than my attempts to speak any other language :D (except maybe Tok Pisin, which is the source of "rausim haus bilong spaida" in the OP).

Anyway, the real place has essentially no theming and the few buildings and stations it has are pretty minimal.  Now that I've got the Galaxi and SC2000 built, there's not really a lot left to build in the amusement park itself.  The main construction will be the parking lot, surrounding roads, and the gas stations across the street ;).  I'm putting off building the water slides until last in the hopes that by the time I get to them, PC will have functioning water slides I can use.
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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2018, 12:14 AM »
but when iam watching the google maps pics. there are several more coasters? i think. i think i saw at least 4 or 5 tracked ride things, at least they looke like this from above. but if that are not a coaster or something else, there is still much to do for you :)
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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2018, 02:02 AM »
but when iam watching the google maps pics. there are several more coasters? i think. i think i saw at least 4 or 5 tracked ride things, at least they looke like this from above. but if that are not a coaster or something else, there is still much to do for you :)


Yeah, I'm seeing what looks like maybe 5 coasters in all?  And something probably along the lines of the antique cars.   It's definitely an interesting layout the way the amusement part surrounds the water park on 2 sides.  I can see how trying to do the water park without a dedicated expansion is going to be a challenge.

But the real question is, will you be using murky green swamp water in your pools, as google maps is showing?

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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2018, 06:51 AM »
but when iam watching the google maps pics. there are several more coasters?

Yeah, I'm seeing what looks like maybe 5 coasters in all?  And something probably along the lines of the antique cars.   It's definitely an interesting layout the way the amusement part surrounds the water park on 2 sides.  I can see how trying to do the water park without a dedicated expansion is going to be a challenge.

There are 4 coasters:  an Arrow boomerang, a Maurer SC2000, an E&F Miler 24' Harvester (the kiddie coaster next to the Screaminator), and a Galaxi.  The 1st 3 of these (as well as the kiddie area, the track rides, and most of the flats) are all in the triangular northern end of the park, but there's a single-file line of flat rides and the Galaxi running down the eastern edge of the park all the way to the back.

There's a log flume running E-W closing off the bottom of the triangular amusement area, separating it from the squarish water park area.  So, the water park is bounded on the north by the log flume, on the east by flats and the Galaxi, on the south by a parking lot, and on the west by the interstate.

There are 2 track rides in the triangular area.  Yes, 1 of them is antique cars, up in the NE corner along Perkins Rd..  The other is a defunct kiddie thing on a smaller scale.  Its track is crammed in between the main N-S path, the carousel, and the pole barn of the kiddie area.  I have no idea what this was called---there's no info on it at the park or online that I can find.  Apparently it's been dead so long nobody remembers it.  The cars look kinda like Yoshis of different colors, several of which are sitting on the track or lying on their sides in the grass beside it, all forlorn.   You can't see much of this on Google Maps because it's under trees.  I've been building this thing lately and am fairly happy with the results.

There's also a perimeter train around the amusement area.  It has only 1 station, so it's good that PC now allows transport rides to work as actual rides instead of just paths.  But OTOH, it's one of those 1/2-scale park trains, which we don't have in the game, so it's going to be a bother.

Quote
But the real question is, will you be using murky green swamp water in your pools, as google maps is showing?

Hehehe, the Google pics were taken when the park was closed for the winter (most of the trees are live oaks so keep their leaves and the grass stays green down here).  They turn off the pumps, the chlorine evaporates, and so the algae blooms (even in winter), but the water protects the structure from the sun.  In the spring, they drain, pressure-wash, and refill the ponds, so when the park is operating, the water is all nice and clean, at least to start with.  Of course, then no telling how many kids piss in it during the open season (which might explain the subsequent algal bloooms in the off season).
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 07:16 AM by Bullethead »
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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2018, 12:46 AM »
yeah the pool looks like after a normal winter. we also have that color in our water at the Jumpin (a water jump center for Olympic Teams in Aerials). So i noticed that google must taken the pictures in early spring :)

Iam wondering how you all do this work. and that 1/2 scalte train damn right, we need something like this! this would be so epic! I mean every park has a train like this or not? i only know europa park and they also have a 1/2 scalte train there :)
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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2018, 09:49 AM »
Iam wondering how you all do this work. and that 1/2 scalte train damn right, we need something like this! this would be so epic! I mean every park has a train like this or not? i only know europa park and they also have a 1/2 scalte train there :)

Well, fake water slides aren't THAT hard to do with art shapes and such, just tedious.  But I'm hoping that maybe we'll get a water park expansion at some point that will save me the trouble ;).

As for the half-scale train, there are 3 options at present:  Use a full-size train instead that actually works or make a fake 1/2-scale train from scratch out of a bazillion parts.  Or just not have a train at all.  I really don't want to use the full-size train because not only are the cars themselves way too big, but the track won't allow tight enough turns to fit where it needs to be in the park.  And with the probably need to use a bazillion parts on a bunch of large, fake water slides, I really don't want to build a mile of fake train track.  So I might just do without, maybe just build the station and the fake 1/2-scale train, then mark the track with the terrain texture paints, but not actually have a track.

It would be nice if we had a working 1/2-scale train in the game, definitely.  Along with some functioning kiddie rides.  Oh well, maybe someday.
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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2018, 06:00 PM »
Why did I just read about solar issues in Planet Coaster? :P Anyway this will be interesting to see where it goes especially in such a small space.

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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2018, 09:48 AM »
Hey Bullet...this looks great. Glad you decided to take this on. In a way its bringing this old park back to life. BTW - as always great writing...I may have asked this before, but do you write for a (real) living?

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Re: Dixie Landin' -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2018, 05:08 PM »
Why did I just read about solar issues in Planet Coaster?

I'd really rather not know :D.  But I hope you found it useful for future reference.  BTW, after further review, it appears that all parks must be in the Northern Hemisphere.  If you swap things to get shadows pointing south, then the sun will rise in the west, which won't do.

Quote
Anyway this will be interesting to see where it goes especially in such a small space.

Yes, this is a bother, mostly due to PC's constraints on how paths, queues, and stations work.  HOWEVER, while I'll certainly overshoot the boundaries a little, it won't be by much.  Once I get the park's edges defined, then will come the onerous task of building all the stuff outside the park itself....

Hey Bullet...this looks great. Glad you decided to take this on. In a way its bringing this old park back to life. BTW - as always great writing...I may have asked this before, but do you write for a (real) living?

Thanks!  No, I just read a lot of Hunter S. Thompson and stole some of his tropes :D.  I actually fight fires for a living, although I'm getting old and gimpy so these days mostly training the troops, inspect buildings, make disaster response plans, and coordinate the younger folks who are actually fighting the fires while I stand safely outside.  Which, TBH, is scarier than being inside.  Still, due to exigent circumstances, I sometimes get to fight fire every so often :)

Anyway, on with the show!

============================

EPISODE 2:  The Fun Fair

It took both hands for Bullethead to shove the mountain of crawfish shells in front of him off the edge of the table, where they fell into a strategically placed trash can.  The sodden newspapers under the remains of the crawfish quickly followed.  Next the handfuls of paper towels used to dry the underlying table surface, which would now and forever always smell of Zatarain's, Tony's, cayenne, garlic, onion, lemon, mushroom, mudbug, and spilled beer.  If there was an "essence of fun", it would be that smell.  Bullethead doubted it would sell, though.  Those who enjoyed eating crawfish already had tables constantly emitting that aroma, so wouldn't need it,  while those who didn't enjoy eating crawfish would be repulsed.  Oh well, can't please everybody.

Next order of business was for Bullethead, Jaysef, Orbles, and Gergas to wash their hands.  They were so covered in pepper-saturated crawfish juice that if they absent-mindedly rubbed an eye or, God forbid, took a leak, it would result in hospitalization.  With this hygienic chore done, they all returned to the now-aromatic picnic table behind Bullethead's brand-new on-site office trailer, spread the applicable documents out, and got into their staff meeting.   Bullethead poured them all 3 fingers of room-temperature bourbon with 2 shakes of Angostura bitters to grease the wheels.

"OK, gentlemen, what's the progress report?"

Jaysef placed the first photo on the table.  The fumes exuding from the table's pores caused the print to blister slightly.  "Yes, Sir.  We've been concentrating on the 'Fun Fair' area of the park, which we have to get situated prior to advancing further in the  NE sector.  The 'Fun Fair' is a collection of kiddie rides and midway attractions under a large pole barn.  This is actually the roots of the park as a whole.  Opening in 1961, it was originally called 'Fun Fair Park' and was located about 10 miles closer to the center of Baton Rouge.  It was mostly a kiddie thing and was frequently advertised on the 'Buckskin Bill' kiddie morning TV show of the 60s and 70s, in between 'Popeye' cartoons.  As times and demographics changed, the park moved to its current location on the outskirts of town and changed its name to 'Dixie Landin'', taking most of the 'Fun Fair Park' rides with it, although the Kickflip and Wild Mouse didn't make the trip.  These days, however, the main interest is in the conjoined water park, 'Blue Bayou', so the place is generally known as 'Blue Bayou / Dixie Landin'."

"That's all very nice, Jaysef.  In fact, I vaguely recall going to 'Fun Fair Park' a time or 2 as a child.  But what's that got to do with our current project?"

"Not much, to be honest," Jaysef continued.  "I was just recording that for posterity.  Anyway, we've been working on the pole barn and associated kiddie attractions.  Orbles and Gergas have been slaving away inventing most of this stuff because you don't have any clear, recent memories of what's under the pole barn and Google Earth has discontinued the Panormio feature so it's very hard to find any photos of this area.  Anyway, here's the overview."



"As you can see, we haven't put the roof on the pole barn yet because it's likely we'll be doing major surgery on the slab before all's said and done.  Also, this allows better views for present purposes.  There are 3 kiddie rides, a snackbar, and some midway games under the rather impressive truss structure, which unfortunately required some chainsaw work on the superstructures of some of the attractions.



"Coming in the main entrance at the south end," Jaysef went on, "the first attraction on the left is a kiddie boat ride we stole from JPalmighT. 

"Ah, yes", said Bullethead.  "That's about the only ride I remember from 'Fun Fair Park', besides the Scrambler."



"Exactly, Sir, which is why we pretty much had to make it up out of whole cloth from here on.  Across from the boat ride is the 'Ducky-Go-Round', which Orbles designed and then had to visit our Employee Assistance Program's shrinks.  Doing such cutesy things is not at all his style."



Jaysef took a sip of his drink and went on.  Orbles, meanwhile, chugged his entire glass and grabbed the bourbon bottle for a refill.

"The centerpiece of the 'Fun Fair'," Jaysef said, "is another of JPalmightT's creations, the kiddie car ride with elaborate reproduction VW Karmann Ghias.  Sadly, we had to decapitate the superstructure of this beautiful ride but, given the low ceiling anyway, I'm sure nobody will notice.  And what's left is probably cooler than the real ride in this location in the actual park anyway.  Best we can tell, that's another min-carousel, although looking like a grand carousel.  Given that we already have a grand carousel right at the entrance, we decided the sportscars were a necessary change of pace."



"This brings us to the NE corner of the 'Fun Fair'.  The official park map labels this as 'Snack Bar' but the map doesn't have the knife-and-fork icon there for a functioning shop these days.  Removing the icons while leaving the building labels seems to be a recurring theme on the official park map, which we'll certainly be returning to in the future.  Still, we recreated the storefront from vintage pics of the original 'Fun Fair Park'.  We're pretty sure it didn't change much during the move."



Jaysef took another sip of his drink, paused, then took another.  "This brings us to my main contribution to this update:  the defunct kiddie track ride.  After subjecting you to hypnosis to bring up repressed memories, all I was certain of is that the track was more elaborate between the carousel and the 'Fun Fair' barn, but I couldn't reproduce it with certainty in the space available, so simplified it.  Also, I was unsure of the shape of the cars so I took the liberty of making them as chickens, as that's what the available parts wanted me to do.  I think they were more reptilian but your memories were too vague and there are no living witnesses to when this ride was operating, so it is what it is.  However, I faithfully reproduced from your memory of the toppled car in the median."



Jaysef finished his drink and handed his glass to Orbles for a refill.  "In any case, Sir, I had to make the assumption that the station for this long-dead ride was in the NW corner of the 'Fun Fair' barn, which then raised the question of what to do with the rest of this space.  Having absolutely zero source info to go on despite many searches, I decided some sort of midway game would be the best answer, as the park seems to be holding out hope of re-opening this ride someday, leaving no space for another ride.  Thus, I managed to steal one of RubleTrillions' creations, although again we had to decapitate it.  But this worked well with putting a restroom in the remaining space."



Bullethead contemplated his drink while sloshing it around.  Finally, he said, "OK, that'll work.  If I ever go back to this place, I'll be sure to explore the 'Fun Fair area and take pictures so we can do it right.  But fortunately, our client is equally in the dark about what's under the kiddie barn so I won't do that unless he insists..  carry on."

"Yes, Sir," said Jaysef.  "Now, Sir, to close out the review of the 'Fun Fair' area, we have a couple of night views, first from the main entrance from the south, then from the secondary entrance to the north off an outgrowth of the path around the carousel.  These are just to give a general idea.  The roof's still not on, and we'll assess the need for additional lighting hanging from the trusses once the roof's in place."





"Finally, Sir," Jaysef summed up, out behind the 'Fun Fair' barn is another kiddie ride, 'Delta Crop Dusters'.  Gergas worked hard on this.  Still to come in this area is the antique cars track ride, the station for which will be directly behind the 'Fun Fair' barn.  Depending on how its track lays out, we'll reposition the kiddie biplanes as needed.  We currently have 3 paths coming out of the 'Fun Fair' barn to test the options.  We'll pick the best one and delete the others once we're more certain of the locations of other things."



Bullethead finished his drink and grabbed the last remains of the bottle from Orbles while there was still enough in it to provide a decent refill.  After taking a sip, he said, "Well, gents, that's better than I'd hoped for in this area.  And once this is done, we can get on with stuff I remember better.  Although I must say, I don't like hypnosis.  It gets too far out in Freudian things.  So next time, let's try ayahuasca and shamanism.  We still have some of that juice left over from Quarantine Island, right?"

Tune in next time for most of the same.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 07:52 PM by Bullethead »
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Re: Dixie Landin' -- Episode 2: The Fun Fair
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2018, 05:34 PM »
The chickens are adorable

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Re: Dixie Landin' -- Episode 2: The Fun Fair
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2018, 06:54 PM »
The chickens are adorable

Hehehe, thanks :)  I didn't look closely when I was there last year but I have the vague impression that the cars of the defunct kiddie track ride were shorter fore and aft, and more reptilian, although they were hard to see from where I was.  I remember the pastel colors, the jumble of them in that area of the track, and at least 1, maybe 2, lying in the grass, but that's about it.  The actual track layout didn't go straight across the gap between the carousel and the Fun Fair barn, but came in back towards the main path there.  What's the opposite of "prolapse"?  Yeah, one of those ;).  But anyway, it's pretty easy to make art shapes into chickens and ducks, so that just kinda happened.  The track layout does bring to mind chickens patrolling their yard, though, so I though it OK.

BTW, for them as are interested, the central rail of the fake track is the snake stature parts from the Adventure pack mostly sunk in the ground.  Never thought I'd have a use for them apart from archways, but sometimes you just stumble into such things.  And I'm sure somebody else had already done this during my absence :).



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Re: Dixie Landin' -- Episode 2: The Fun Fair
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2018, 07:50 PM »
Quote
"I took the liberty of making them as chickens, as that's what the available parts wanted me to do."
  I laughed.  If all books were written like this, I would read more.

Nice job on those biplanes, you need to workshop that.

One day Frontier will take the hint that kids exist.

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Re: Dixie Landin' -- Episode 2: The Fun Fair
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2018, 02:00 AM »
  I laughed.  If all books were written like this, I would read more.

Nice job on those biplanes, you need to workshop that.

One day Frontier will take the hint that kids exist.

Thanks!  The biplanes (and the ducky-go-round) are on Workshop, although i'm not entirely happy with the biplanes.  Given the tightness of this area of the park, I made them have as small a footprint as possible, which means there's no room to walk around them as there is on the real ride.  So I'm thinking I'll increase the diameter of the underlying platform by 2m or so.

I'm with you on lack of kiddie-oriented stuff in PC.  Not just an absence of small-scale rides, but also how kids are barred from a number of coaster types they can actually ride in real life.  I'm particularly annoyed that kids can't ride the Maurer X-Car coaster, when the company's website info specifically states, and shows in a number of videos, that kids can in fact ride it.  I filed a bug report on this, as it seems an obvious error fixable by changing a single flag in the data somewhere, but was told by the mods of the official boards that this wasn't a bug, and to make it as a suggestion instead.

If you ever play PC for money instead of sandbox, the kid situation becomes even more frustrating.  Families are the most desirable demographic to attract because 1) families average the most starting money, 2) families are the most likely to use ATMs to get more money, and 3) families have the largest average group size so you sell more stuff to them each time.  But there are only a handful of coaster types they can go on.  And they often can't even ride stuff they're supposed to, such as antique cars, because there are more peeps in the group than there are seats in the car, and the groups won't split between cars.
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Re: Dixie Landin' -- Episode 3: Closing the Triangle
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2018, 05:11 PM »
EPISODE 3:  Closing the Triangle

Bullethead looked around the actual conference table in the actual conference room inside his on-site bungalow.   His senior boffins looked back at him with their usual expressions of bored excitement, or maybe it was excited boredom, Bullethead was never sure.  The clock ticked.  Nobody touched their drinks.  At last, Bullethead made an executive decision.

"This place sucks.  Too civilized.  Let's move the meeting to the picnic table out back."  And there was great rejoicing.  There was no kettle of boiled mudbugs today but the table continued to exude the aroma of the previous feast, which brought back happy memories.  Plus, there was a large cooler full of beer immediately adjacent, which seemed a more appropriate beverage when discussing the recreation of Dixie Landin'.

Once they were all situated and had toasted the project's success, Bullethead asked the customary question:  "What's the briefing for the client this time?"

Jaysef slid out his first photo.  "Well, Sir, we've finally closed off the triangle of the main amusement park area.  This is a major milestone because the positions of everything in this area were rather fluid until now, pending final fit-checks and running the paths.  But now we've got it, so can finally start gardening in this area whenever we want, at least once we figure out what to do about the perimeter train."



"We're rather proud," Jaysef continued, "that we've been able to stay so closely within the red borders we set up to start with.  They were just rough estimates and guidelines, not firm edges, but we wanted to be as close to them as possible and we've done it.  We'll leave them in place a bit longer to help lay out the rest of the place, but now they've mostly served their purpose."

"Very impressive," said Bullethead, raising his beer in salute.  "Our client will be very pleased.  He's an ex-governor of the state, you know, so has dangerous friends we'd rather not meet.  But anyway, I see the Fun Fair now has a roof."

"Yes, Sir," Jaysef nodded.  "We deemed the interior as complete as it was going to get after we added some signage, especially those giving credit where credit is due.  Also, we needed the roof on to decided where to put the interior lighting.  BTW. a 'pirogue' (pronounced PEE-row) is a traditional Cajun type of boat.  We chose the name to fit with the general Louisiana naming convention of the park, plus it already had a pirate flag out of the box."



Gergas now took up the narrative.  "Sir, I modified the kiddie biplane ride, called 'Delta Crop Dusters', by increasing the outer radius of the platform by about 1m.  This is in keeping with the original, and the platform is not centered on the planes.  The customers walk on the outer edge and the plane wheels run on the inner edge during loading.  Anyway, it's all tied into the path system now, even though it's non-functional."



"Behind that, Sir," Orbles spoke up, "is the antique car ride known as 'Gasoline Alley'.  I rather enjoyed making the station and think it a very accurate reproduction.  But, as you mentioned, this ride seems either to be closed or to function only intermittently.  Which is something of a shame because it's really the only themed area of the park.  All Victorian, both the station and the track scenery and lighting."





"There are actually small, black-iron fountains in the infield on both ends of the track," Orbles continued.
 "However, we couldn't get anything similar from our suppliers so made rather non-Victorian fountains.  I might be able to kludge something closer to the originals later so for now, consider these as placeholders.  Also, the streetlights around the track are the same model as the originals, but we couldn't get the blue-green paint for them, so we left them gunmetal."





"And then," Orbles said with some relish, "I got to do something much more up my alley.  The 'Kleinpeter Store'."



"Ah yes," mused Bullethead.  "I recall being greatly disappointed on my recent visit to find that this had been shut down for years."

"That's why I enjoyed building this so much Sir," said Orbles.  "This is brand new but looks ancient, which is my speciality.  As you know, Kleinpeter's is a Baton Rouge-area dairy company still very much in business.  No doubt this store sold shakes and ice cream, which the customers would have really wanted in the Hellish tropical summers at the real park.  But for some reason, Kleinpeter's pulled out of this operation.  This happened recently enough for the building to be made ADA-compliant with a wheelchair ramp, but so long ago that the squares of paint covering up the letters of 'Kleinpeter' on the tin roof have mostly eroded away, and you can almost still read the word if you look hard enough."



"I also note that the original building probably dates from the park's move to this location in the 1980s, as the (now heavily rusted) propane tank is right up against the wall, whereas recent codes require such large tanks to be 15 feet away.  I wonder if the real tank still has any gas in it?  I naturally filled up this tank about 1/2 full, and as it continues to rust away, this will make life interesting for our client someday."



"Orbles," said Bullethead, "this right here is why I pay you.  Great work.  Such a great encapsulation of this whole park, with the corpses of better days lying out in public view without even a sheet over them.  Only this one has more pathos than the toppled 'chicken ride' or whatever it was.  Not everybody would want to ride a 'chicken' or whatever, but everybody wants Kleinpeter ice cream on a Louisiana summer day.  OK, what's next?"

Jaysef groped in the cooler for another beer and then said, "Well, Sir, continuing clockwise around the triangle, next door to the defunct Kleinpeter store is a no-frills restroom with galvanized corrugated iron siding and a raised-rib steel roof painted a light blue.  Sadly, we have neither building material on-hand, and roof parts we do have don't fit together that well, but we faked the look as much as we could."



"There's going to be a snackbar across the path from this restroom, wedged in between the Scrambler/Scizzer and the bumper cars."  Jaysef paused to pour about half his beer straight down his throat.  "However, Sir, this park does food differently than most we're familiar with so we're still thinking about how to implement it.  In this region of the amusement park, as in most of the water park, there's 1 central kiosk that exchanges currency for food tickets.  Then there are food and drink kiosks of various flavors scattered about.  These don't take cash, only the tickets.  And they don't cook anything--all the cooking happens in the kitchens of the only functional food areas, one in each half of the park.  So the food kiosks are either refrigerators or heat lamps, nothing more.  But due to various laws and baksheesh traditions hereabouts, we can't do that in this not-Louisiana place, so we're still considering our other options.

"In the meantime, Sir, continuing clockwise around the triangle and now going across the bottom, we have 'Cajon Collision', a bumper car ride totally skinned over to hide the festive roof and all of the off-the-shelf version.  As I recall, you said this ride was also defunct on your recent visit."



"Yup," replied Bullethead.  "Another great disappointment.  Still, it's not as dilapidated as the Kleinpeter store which, if you peer through the windows, looks inside as if it was ransacked either by robbers or by police with a search warrant.  The bumper cars look like they could be turned back on at any time.  Rather like you have reproduced it here."

"Thank you, Sir!  I do my best.  Anyway," Jaysef continued, "there's not much to say at present about the other rides along the bottom of the triangle.  Going back up the other side, Orbles spent a fair amount of time 'weathering' the SC2000 'Xtreme', which looked way too shiny compared to the faded prototype.  Besides, I hear this ride has recently gone defunct anyway."



"Lastly, Sir," Jaysef said, "Gergas got the 'Sidewinder' up and running.  In the real park, this ride has the outwards-facing continuous wheel of the standard 'Sundail' ride, but is the size and shape of the standard 'Iron Claw' as shown here.  Due to space constaints, we went with the 'Iron Claw' instead of the 'Sundial', despite the recent tragedy with this type of ride."



"Ah yes, I remember 'Sidewinder'," said Bullethead.  "The contoured seats and restraints were obviously not built for those with Neanderthal barrel chests such as mine.  The operator could barely get the restraint locked on me and and I found it quite hard to breathe after he did, what with my shoulders pried forward by the seat dividers and the restraint closing in from the front.  Still, a rather fun ride."

"Anyway, very good, gentlemen," Bullethead wrapped up.  "I'm sure our client will be pleased.  In the meantime, do what you can to finish up this area that's not dependent on the 1/2-scale perimeter train.  Besides the snackbar, we've still got 2 coasters to build stations and supports for, plus more or less complete skins for the remaining flats in this area, some of which are going to be a real pain.  Let's do that, and maybe some gardening, before we move on."

Tune in next time for more of the slow spiral into damnation.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 08:04 PM by Bullethead »
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Re: Dixie Landin' -- Episode 3: Closing the Triangle
« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2018, 01:00 AM »
nice updates :)
so just a question. the landscaping, will that stay as it like now? or will you do some more there? I definitly like the kiddie section. really great custom rides! Like it!
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Re: Dixie Landin' -- Episode 3: Closing the Triangle
« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2018, 05:23 AM »
nice updates :)
so just a question. the landscaping, will that stay as it like now? or will you do some more there? I definitly like the kiddie section. really great custom rides! Like it!

Thanks!  That kiddie area is rather popular in real life so I felt it was important to do it.  Well, it's popular except, of course, for the definitely defunct "chicken" ride and the possibly defunct antique car ride.  Oh, and the several defunct midway games strewn about the edges of this area, which I haven't put in yet.  And maybe the snack bar in the barn is also defunct.  I really don't know, but there's reason to suspect because there's no knife-and-fork icon next to the words "Snack Bar" on the park map.  Just like the "Kleinpeter Store" is still marked on the map but lacks the icon.

Anyway, as to shaping the terrain, there really won't be much of that at all.  The whole Baton Rouge area is on a vast alluvial plain created by the flooding and meandering of the Mississippi River over time.  Thus, the ground is as flat as a billiards table for miles in all directions.  The only terrain work I'll be doing will be the drainage ditches along the roads bordering the park, the artificial hill for the I-10 overpass at Highland Rd, and the ponds needed for the log ride and water slides.
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Re: Dixie Landin' -- Episode 3: Closing the Triangle
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2018, 08:43 AM »
Love your sense of scope and size here. Everything seems proportioned well, and looks great in relation to google earth.

I do think the railroad should be included. Are you sure the Connie Express won't give you the curves you need? How about substituting trams?

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Re: Dixie Landin' -- Episode 3: Closing the Triangle
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2018, 09:16 AM »
ok thnx for the answer. i definitly like to see what you  show us over time :)
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