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Saito S

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About Saito S

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    Level 51 Procrastinator

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    Lennvale, Valocea

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  1. Oh man, I love this last one. You can immediately tell the propulsion has Siemens tech just from listening to it and hearing that classic Siemens "do~re~mi~fa~so~la~ti~dooooooooooooooo" acceleration sound! Oh yes I remember that post! Things got really really busy for quite a while there, so that whole community map idea (along with other creative endeavors) got dropped. It might be possible to revisit the idea if people want to. Hang on, do you mean it's actually ON the west coast? Or just a west coast "style" city? Like SF tho, eh? Is it also like SF in that the population is dense because it's tiny but with a lot of people? From info given to me at that time by Shakey, Golden State is basically located right off California, as an extra spigot of land off the northern coast. You're right about Valocea tho, it's basically up in the Pacific Northwest (not that this is news to anyone, since I just posted a new map a couple days ago).
  2. Time for me to return from the dead as well, as it were. Hello people. Been ages since I posted in here! I see some familiar faces on the last few pages tho. Valocea has certainly changed a bit since the last time I posted about it. Firstly, there is a new map, and in the words of Captain Jack Sparrow, it's much more better! The major changes are: way more mountain and hill contours (mainly in the eastern section of the country), several more rivers (again mostly on the east side), a slightly refined look for city text that is cleaner and more consistent in sizing, and most exciting of all, more cities! Still have a long way to go before I could call this anything even approaching "done", of course, but still, it's nice to be able to look at it and see real progress. There are also several more cities for which I've worked out some details, but not enough to put them on the map yet (i.e. I'm still debating their precise location or type). Click on the image for a full-res version (4847 x 3000)! Additionally, my ideas for the transit and rail services have been shaken up, as well. For anyone that actually remembers the details I posted before on these aspects: SATA is gone and V-Net is no longer the national rail operator, nor is VINE the intercity service name. SATA stands for "Sounto Area Transit Authority." Sounto is the name of the bay around which this agency's service area is centered. It was a neat idea, but I've come to dislike the acronym because there's no consensus on how exactly to pronounce it. "SA-Tah" or "saduh" or "Say-tuh". During the computer science classes I took, I heard all of these and more (SATA being also a technical term for a kind of interface). I just know that that will bug the hell out of me if I stick with it! So, I'm going to call this agency something else. The biggest city it serves is Lennvale, so I may end up incorporating that into the name, or I might still name it after the bay... not sure yet. V-Net is a perfectly good name on its own, but I realized it really doesn't sound right as the national rail company. Just doesn't fit. I realized I wanted an abbreviation/acronym type name that has a more similar feel to real rail companies of various countries (i.e. DB in Germany, SNCF in France, JR in Japan, etc). So! After much deliberation over various combinations of words, I think I've settled on VRC. This stands for Valocea (or Valocean) Rail(way?) Company (Corporation?). As you can see, the details of what EXACTLY each letter stands for need to be worked out still. But the acronym, and the concept of each word in the name, would be the same regardless. VRC is a state-owned company that answers to the Department of Railworks, itself a government agency that is part of the Transportation Commission (which is the Valocean equivalent of the US Department of Transportation or Transport Canada). Railworks, obviously, is the rail-focused arm of the TC. VRC, while technically the name of an overarching parent company with several components, also refers specifically to the part within it that runs Valocea's national passenger rail network. Other parts of the larger company include the freight-rail arm (probably something like "VFR"), and V-Net. That name isn't going away entirely, I'm just using it in a much more logical way: it sounds like something related to technology and support, rather than actually the agency that runs the trains themselves, so that's what it will be: VRCs technical and logistical support arm. Instead of being called "VINE", the intercity services will be called just that: VRC InterCity. This is a large network of mainline passenger train lines, mostly electrified (about 70%), as well as a handful of long-distance bus routes that either supplement the rail services (feeders for areas that don't have a robust local transit network), or serve the intercity function themselves in places where VRC has no actual rail service (there aren't a lot of these, though). Like V-Net, the name VINE isn't being scrapped, just changed. This will now be the name of Valocea's high-speed rail services. It makes sense really: what it stands for is Valocea InterCity National Express. So it works well as the faster, as opposed to "regular", intercity service. So far, I haven't established many specific lines, due in part to the relative lack of cities - after all, without them, I can't really create passenger rail lines that make any sense! Still, I do have a few. Below is a second version of the Valocea map, with lines on it representing the rail lines I'm sure about so far: As before, click for full res. The lines identified are as follows: -The red line near the center is the Capital Corridor Line, which makes stops in four regional capitals (Ardennes, Lennvale, Somerset, and Ingram), as well as Valocea's national capital (Issa). There are both high-speed VINE and conventional speed InterCity variants of this line. The Lennvale to Ingram portion was Valocea's first high-speed rail line, which went into service in 1995. -The blue line going east from Lennvale is the LVX (Lennvale-Vancouver Express), which provides direct service between Lennvale and Vancouver, British Columbia, and also makes stops in Ardennes and Oran. This is one of two international trains operated by VRC (the other being the LPX, below). This is a conventional speed line using dual-power (diesel/electric) locomotives made by Bombardier, since the in-Canada portion is not electrified. Both of the ocean crossings (between East Portal and Vancouver Island, and between Vancouver Island and the city of Vancouver) utilize bridges (there are road bridges for cars as well). The line has been in-service since the early 90s. -The green line going south from Lennvale is the LPX (Lennvale-Portland Express). The counterpart to the LVX, this goes from Lennvale to Portland, Oregon, making stops in Rhuna City and Inaris. Like the LVX, this uses dual-power locos since most of the in-US portion is not electrified. Unlike the LVX, the international connection utilizes an underwater rail tunnel rather than a bridge, and as of yet, there is no road connection between Oregon and Le Marche, though such a connection is being discussed. The international components of this line (the tunnel itself and overland connection from it to the tracks heading to Portland) were not completed until very recently, with the line being formally opened to the public in 2014. -The gold line going north from Lennvale is the NLX, Novara-Lennvale Express. Operated by Pascale Regional Rail, there are both express (non-stop, or at least very few stops) and normal, all-stop versions of this service linking these two major cities. As medium-distance regionals go, this is a heavily used line (in both directions) by commuters. -The magenta line way down in the southwest is the Anshala-Talence Line, operated by WestPort (the regional transportation service provider of the West Portal region). Like the NLX, there are both express and standard variants. Like the NLX, many commuters use this line daily. Ta for now!
  3. I agree and have more specific issues with what I've been reading. I've been debating about whether or not I want to speak about this, but I really feel like I have to. This may not be the most popular post I've ever made here, but I think it needs to be said. I think several people in this thread (this refers mainly to several posts from the last page or so) have stepped way over the line with regard to having things happen in your cities. The protests happening throughout the US - and, indeed, around the world to a degree, as well - are not something to be trivialized or appropriated as something "exciting" you can use to make your fictional places more interesting. This is really happening. People are protesting the extreme (and racially unbalanced) incidents of police brutality and overreach, and the startling lack of accountability, present within our law enforcement and justice systems. For the most part, these protests have been peaceful - yes, there has been some looting, but that's mostly been opportunistic bad apples taking advantage of the situation, using the anger that is rightfully felt by many as a cover to break and steal things. The characterization of the protests in posts by, in particular, mattb and GMC, has been: "rioters and violent protestors are destroying the city and hurting people. Meanwhile, the police are heroically trying to maintain order and safety." I find this extremely troubling, since in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Violence and rioting on the part of protestors has been the exception; overreaction, unprovoked violence, and civil rights violations on the part of the police have practically been the norm. At every turn, police have escalated and instigated violence (in response to what was in the first place protests against police violence), while the system has refused to hold ANYONE in law enforcement accountable for ANYTHING. And all of that barely even touches on the gross injustices that sparked the protests in the first place - I'm not going to go into great detail on those, because this post is primarily about the depiction and handling of the protests themselves and not the original events that caused them, but it's important to note that this isn't about "rowdy troublemakers". This is about an issue that is as serious as any issue can possibly be in the United States at this time. The most recent posts by the two posters I mentioned have been especially disturbing. Protestors have not been blocking fire stations or blocking emergency services. That's completely out of character with respect to what has actually been happening at these protests. And on top of that, the sheer scale of the violence is incredible. If the current status of Lego City truly IS "Rioters have set the police department on fire, and have blocked the doors of many fire stations. It looks like the rioters are trying to block emergency services. Most of the downtown area is on fire, and many stores have been destroyed." (emphasis mine on the particularly notable part), then my goodness. The only conclusion I can draw is that Lego City is a cesspool of violence and bad behavior. Easily the worst, most violent city in North America. I say this because nothing this extreme has been happening in real life. No one has been destroying police stations, no major cities have had anywhere NEAR that level of destruction or violence inflicted on their downtown. Is that really what's going on in Lego City? Why? And mattb: I take serious issue with you bringing real cities into this. A bomb placed by protestors is incredibly unlikely and certainly has not occurred anywhere in or near Detroit or elsewhere in Michigan that I can tell. That is an extreme action that goes well beyond anything that has actually occurred. And, the worst riots in Detroit since 1967? LA on the verge of the worst riots since 1992? Where are you getting this? I don't think it's okay to take these real things that are happening and are important, blow them way out of proportion, and then just throw them in to give the fictional events fictitiously happening in your fictional cities more weight. This is a hobby. This is for fun. Let's refrain from appropriating and making light of the real-life struggles occurring in this country over the very serious issues of police brutality and institutionalized racism. Please think about this.
  4. Firstly: thanks for all the replies! I didn't expect to get such praise on the map itself - to my own standards, it's kind of bad. It's a rush job that's only there to serve the purpose of pointing out locations and such. But I'm glad it was a hit! Rest assured, down the road there'll be a fancier map that will look MUCH better! I don't have a lot of time at the moment to get into any more specifics, but I'm noting down all the additional info you guys have provided. And on that note: thank you for all the info! This is turning into a pretty neat project. For those of you with countries/fictional landmasses, I'll most likely be contacting you individually later on to firm up details on said countries and landmasses. Soon, I'll probably put out a refined version of the "simple" map (i.e. it will look just like the one I already put up, but with new additions and corrections based on everyone's responses). As I mentioned, making a fancy, nice looking map won't be happening for a while yet, gotta collect more info, make refinements, etc. And of course, there's also the fact that, for a better looking map, making the map itself will take a lot longer than it did to put together the simple thing above. SCMTA_01: the reason the map didn't take me very long to make is, as I said, it's a rush job, heh. Still just gathering information. The "real" map will almost certainly take quite a bit longer. O530CarrisPTBus: See, I KNEW I'd forget someone! Did you want me to include your area on the map? If so, it will be a while - that would have to wait until I begin work on incorporating an inset showing Europe (which will be done anyway at some point, since T6A5's York is in Europe). So there's plenty of time for you to send me more info on the place via PM or in here if you'd like to. I take it there's an additional peninsula that isn't present in real life to accommodate Neo Iberia? Also haven't seen MegaMoonLiner post since I put up my initial map and request for info. If you're reading this: did you want to be on this as well? I might be able to squeeze a Japan inset onto the map in addition to a Europe inset or two... The final map may end up being pretty huge! TrainFanInfinity: Yes, it absolutely is okay that you edited the map! In fact, I should have said in my other post "go ahead and edit the map". That helps me out because I can see what your country is supposed to be like in terms of size and shape. Down the road when I'm getting deeper into this, I'll contact you to hammer out exact details about the size and etc. GRT 2610: sorry, I'm afraid I didn't really understand your reply... what's fake? And, is Furbyville located in California, then? You'd mentioned a "state called Beauchamp" so I thought maybe you had a fictional state you wanted to add? If you'd like to be included on the big map (you don't have to be, of course! ), let me know about these details. Thanks! All right, I'm off for now, hopefully going to get some actual writing (as in, working on stories) done tonight. I'll probably follow-up on this later this weekend if there's time. Farewell for now all!
  5. Neat! Always love seeing info on Ai'a'ive cause it's always interesting. Some questions for you regarding the "big communal map" idea - I'll put them at the end of this post with the questions for others... Thanks! Still have many many details that still need to be filled in, of course, but it's coming along. So! On to the CPTDB Communal Fictional Place Mapping Project. CCFPMP. Firstly: Where is Furbyville located? And, for that matter, Beauchamp - is this a US state? And, are any of the cities listed large enough to be "on the map" so to speak? (i.e. to show up on a large North America map, which would show only the largest cities in a region/state/etc). I threw together a simple map just calling out locations, based on a "blank" map of North America I was able to find. Note that this map looks like garbage; this is not the final map I'm going to make, but is just an overview. I wanted to put this out there and give people a chance to take a look and make any corrections as far as their locations. Basically, this is just a quick 'n dirty map created for the purposes of getting this thing started. A much nicer looking map will be made later (and will take comparatively longer - it probably won't be ready for a couple months). All that said, here we are. Click on the map to see the full-size version. The names of fictional places (as in, the places created by us) are noted in black. Real Canadian places are noted in red and real US places are in blue. Also, regardless of whether they are real or fictional, names of political bodies (states/provinces, countries, etc) are in all UPPERCASE and cities are normal. Also as you can see, some areas are undefined because I don't yet have the info. neoartic, Ra'akone, and Shakey, for Arcadia, Ai'a'ive and Golden State respectively, what do the landmasses look like? How big are they? And where, precisely, are they in relation to North America? Dunno if those questions have answers yet in terms of how far along you are in your planning... If you don't I may have to rethink this but we'll see, haha. I would also like to know: the population figures for your entire fictional space (e.g. state/country, as the case may be), as well as the population of any cities you want included on the map (and also, the same question I put to GRT: what cities should go on the map? Probably not more than 3 per area). It doesn't have to be an EXACT figure, just something like "about 1.5 million people" and that kind of rough estimate is fine. Also for Golden State specifically: how would it be named/referred to on a map? "Golden State"? Or just "Golden"? Also, as I noted on the map - is it supposed to be an island, or an extension of the real landmass? Also for Ai'a'ive - would it be visible to scale on this map, or is it too far away (i.e. it'd need to be shown in a box indicating it's not "really" in that location, the way Hawaii is)? East Van Fan: I put Van City on the map (kind of right on the US/Canada border), but I'm not sure if it's supposed to be in BC, or in Washington? Also, the same question as above; you listed several cities for the Metro Van area. Which ones are biggest? And, was the 5.6 million figure you gave for Van City itself? Or for the whole Metro area? The largest real cities that would be included in the areas pictured were already planned to be visible on the map I'm going to make. So, should I just include Philly in its real location to cover your project? If I have left anyone out who wants to be in on this - e.g. you are not on the map, nor did I ask you anything about your place in this post - let me know! Except for T6A5 - for anyone wondering, he and I have already been in communication about how to work York into this thing later on. So that's what I have so far. Obviously, the continuation of this project is very dependent on me getting information from everyone else. So if people aren't really that interested in the map idea, it may not go very far, haha. But we'll see how it goes!
  6. Yeah, I was very careful to create rivers, lakes, and mountains while keeping in mind the relationship they would have to each other on a one-to-one level, so to speak (i.e., this river flows from this mountain range). But I definitely want to think more in larger terms about interconnectedness and things like drainage basins. Oh, I kind of more see what you mean now. Thing is, though, Valocea is really a large island, so in terms of the coastline matching, I look more to something like... the main landmass of the UK vs. the coast of France, or the south coast of Norway and Sweden vs. Denmark and Poland (granted, the second example doesn't actually involve an island, but there is still a large saltwater body between the two). So there is a generally similar curvature, but not TOO similar, especially since Valocea's north-south extent is only a fraction of the north-south extent of the main North American continent. Yeah, cool to see we are getting some responses! I really like the world-building/geofiction aspect of this whole thing. I think I'll start a document noting the info on everyone's location/city/country, etc. Awesome, I look forward to seeing your maps. I like that you've put thought into what kinds of industry/exports they have. A bit of info about Valocea's industry and exports are detailed below with the city info... Neat. Is New Stafford the capital? Any other info about these cities you can share? I love this stuff. Even though it wasn't that long ago that I posted some info, I'll reiterate it here and expand on it since we're talking about it. The Republic of Valocea (the map again) is situated on an archipelago consisting of one main island and several smaller ones, located in the Pacific Ocean just off the coast of British Columbia and Washington State. The total area of all of the islands together is 1,040,877.1 square kilometers (the main island obviously takes up the bulk of this with a total area of 896,683.44 square km). The country has a total population of about 142.7 million people. I haven't done much in the way of metropolitan area planning yet (just regions and specific, individual cities). The six largest cities in Valocea, ordered by total population, are: -Lennvale, capital of the Pascale region. Population 6.5 million with an area of 909.42 square km. The country's center for high-tech industry (which is a huge part of Valocea's industrial base and economy, as well as their biggest export industry), culture and entertainment, and transportation (V-Net, the country's national rail operator, is headquartered here, and many of its lines run to or through Lennvale). -Anshala, in the West Portal region. Population 4.75 million, about 1000 square km of area. The "gateway" city to Valocea for cargo and passengers arriving by ship from the west (which gave the West Portal region its name), this city has the country's largest port, and is also the main center for the shipbuilding industry, Valocea's biggest heavy industry (of which there are not many; aside from sea vessels, all vehicles are imported, and most of the country's heavy industrial capacity is occupied with the creation of infrastructure - bridges especially - for internal use). -Ingram, capital of the Sen-Halu region. Population 4 million, with an area of roughly 425 square km. Second only to Lennvale as a center of high-tech industry, and Valocea's premiere location for R&D on renewable energy and hydrology. -Rhuna City, capital of the Rhuna region (named for the large lake next to the city). Population 3.7 million. -Issa, the national capital, located in the Villeneuve region (which also has a separate regional capital). Population 3.5 million. -Novara, capital of the Ciel region. Population 3.2 million. As you can see, I don't yet know much about the latter 3 cities beyond their location, name, and population. Still a work in progress, of course! The most populous region is Pascale, though the most densely populated region is Sen-Halu. The least populous region is the Raeburn Islands region with 450,000 people, which exists on islands only and has no mainland component. Of those regions that are on the mainland, the least populous is Orageux, with 725,000 people. That's kind of a neat idea! I'm a map geek, I almost want to volunteer to try and create such a map...
  7. Oh I see. To be honest, that's not something I've given much thought to. I've designed river flows mostly independently, without a lot of thought to drainage basins or divides, or how the mountain chains would affect them. Now that you mention it, it's something I think I should put more conscious thought into. So thanks for the reminder of sorts. Hmm... Are we just talking strictly about a matter of opinion? e.g. what you think would simply "look better"? You mentioned "more realism" before, so I'm kind of curious to know what you meant, haha. But if you did just mean, you think it would look better if I changed it, that's fine, but I'm not really inclined to at this point - I'm pretty happy with the basic shape and curve of the coast. The details, however, will likely change at some point, to be more bumpy and smooth, and less jagged with fewer straight/long lines making up the coast. Can't do that right now, because the polygons making up Valocea's coastline and landmass are huge, and as it is, I'm at CC3's limit when it comes to being able to render it out. Adding more lines to them (which is what I'd really be doing when making the coastlines look more realistic) will make it really hard to work with (and impossible to render images of). The upcoming CC3+ upgrade (which I anxiously await!) promises more flexibility and power overall, which I'm hoping will allow me to redraw parts of the coast to look better. Ages ago, I asked something similar but didn't get a lot of responses - I'd very much like to see a rundown of where everyone is! Not so much for linking transit services up (I tend to think of Valocea as existing in its "own" alternate universe, plus I'm not aware of hardly anyone else being close enough to its location that connections would really make sense anyway), but just because I'd like to have a better idea of where everyone's fictional spaces are, and if you're designing just a city vs. a state or entire country, etc.
  8. This all makes sense and I applaud you for going the extra mile and putting some thought and nuance into this scenario and treating the subject matter respectfully. It would be easy to just be like "Oh, protests and civil unrest, that could be an interesting thing to happen! Drama!" and throw it in there without thinking through the implications and consequences, but you didn't do that.
  9. Good to hear that the police there are better at showing restraint and not escalating. Certainly that's something many real police departments in the US need to work on... Just as a note - I'm not saying you shouldn't do this, it's your fictional place of course and this is a perfectly valid development for you to have happen. That being said, this does have some significant implications. I seem to recall your city being in the US? And talk of mobilizing the "National Guard" would seem to support that. If so, a state of emergency with an actual curfew declared by a city in response to protests (with curfew violation being an offense punishable by arrest) would be a really major national (or even international) news story. If the city is in the US, the federal government might be involved (especially if the National Guard has been, or might yet be, called in), they could be getting attention from the ACLU or other human rights organizations, etc. Especially given that with protests and civil disturbances on the kind of scale you're describing, with the accompanying police response to go with it (over 600 total arrests is a lot - how big is SM's total population, come to think of it?), it's nigh unto impossible that ANY kind of police misconduct would be absolutely completely 100% avoided. Even if it's not set in a real country, much of the above would still be so. Basically, it'd be a REALLY big freakin deal, is the point I am making. Which is fine, if that's what you want, but just something to consider.
  10. As to the first question: it's basically a combination of research of real places/real patterns of how such things tend to be (as much as there ARE patterns; the biggest takeaway from a lot of the research I've done has been, and continues to be, "nature is pretty freakin random a lot of the time"), and things put in place to fill requirements I had about Valocea going in. For example: I knew I wanted most of central and north Valocea to have a colder climate than much of the Pacific Northwest does. i.e. in Seattle, Vancouver, etc. they might get snow, but it's not even a sure thing year-by-year, and sometimes they just get ice. That's not at all how I'd envisioned that area, Lennvale in particular. So, in combination with just altering reality and saying that some of the ocean currents from the Pacific bring more cold weather conditions than they do in real life, I turned to mountain chains as another climate altering force. The concentration of Valocea's tallest mountains and most extensive ranges in the central to east/northeast regions is to create a situation where you have cold air being forced into funnels between the ranges, causing those areas to have "real" winters. By "continental divide", do you mean the chain of seas that sort of form a channel bisecting the main island? I originally started with that basic crab claw shape back when all I had were really crappy maps made in Gimp. I knew I wanted Lennvale to be a coastal city, but having it sitting way out on the extreme end coast in any direction just didn't fit. It needed to be farther inland, but I still wanted it as a coastal city, so I came up with the channel through the center to accommodate that idea. Now, though, it's such a fundamental part of what Valocea is, not just geographically, but in terms of how it has influenced the culture, the industry, etc. Their one big heavy export industry is (and has been for a couple centuries) shipbuilding, there are ferries everywhere and a RIDICULOUS number of bridges, lots of water related industry and leisure activity, their most well-renowned, notorious historical criminal figures are all pirates, etc. Even though rail has become basically the stand-out, ubiquitous "everyone uses it" mode of transport for Valocea, ferries are still widely used, and one of the big draws of rail lines (especially for conventional, non-high-speed, lines) are ocean views. As to the second question: I don't follow. Match up? It already does kind of follow the curvature of the North American mainland, if you compare the basic curve of the east coast along East Portal and La Marche to the west coast along Washington and Oregon. Beyond that, I'm not sure what you mean about making it more realistic. Okay, my curiosity is really getting the better of me here. Just what is going on there? Protests over what? Also, I have to admit, given what's been happening in the US as of late, my first thought when reading this was "it was probably the police that escalated the situation and then blamed it on the protestors." Of course, it may be that your fictional area has slightly less, ah... "aggressive" police forces than those in many real US cities...
  11. As is my custom apparently, I return after a long hiatus to post some new Valocea stuff. I saw people dropping information about climate and population for their fictional spaces, which is the kind of world build-y talk that's right in my wheelhouse. First a map, because 1) it's new (the latest revisions were made in October), and it's been ages since I posted one here, and 2) I can reference areas on it and you can actually see them. (click the map for full size) Really happy with how this is shaping up. There are still some improvements I want to make once CC3+ is released, but even so, as of now it's looking pretty good. Added lots more terrain contours, rivers and lakes, and some named mountains and ranges. And a bunch more cities, too, including (finally!) Valocea's national capital - Issa, in the Villeneuve region. The six biggest cities (in order of total population: Lennvale, Anshala, Ingram, Rhuna City, Issa, and Novara) range in population from 6.3 million (Lennvale) down to 3.2 million (Novara). No visible rail lines on this map - I'm still planning most of them out, and also, I'm rethinking how I want them to be represented visually (an older version had a couple visible lines, but I didn't like how they looked; I'm going to play around with drawing tools in CC3 and come up with something better). However, I do know where one particular line runs: the "Capital Corridor" line, running from Ardennes in the Temu-Rana region, to Ingram in the Sen-Halu region. The line gets its name from the fact that it calls in five capital cities, including the national capital. There are both conventional and high-speed variants of this line; they follow basically the same route, but the latter stops only in those five cities, while the former makes some additional stops as well. It's likely the most heavily used rail line in the country. Valocea is of course an entire country, and a decently large one, so the climate varies by area. In the southwest, the climate isn't too different from a Northern California/SF Bay Area type, so right now they're getting temperatures in the 50-60s and a bit of rain. That region usually doesn't see much, if any, snow. Anshala in West Portal, the second largest city in the country, is known for it's temperate climate. In central Valocea, things are a bit different. Lennvale, the country's largest city (population 6.3 million), would at this time be right in the middle of their transition from "cold but with a mix of clear days and moderately cloudy/rainy days" to "very cold days with serious rain". Late November usually sees little if any snow, whereas snow falls reliably every year in mid to late December and into early to mid January. Blizzards are not common but not unheard of. Up in the Northlight region and northern Ciel, things are colder. They might already have some snow, though it still won't get really serious until December. That area usually sees a few legit blizzards every year. More details about the additions to that map, as well as some more information on the structure of VINE, the national intercity rail service, can be found in this blog post.
  12. I've never cracked a screen on either of the two smartphones I've owned... but then I hardly ever drop my phone. I am SUPER careful. Of course I can't say I never drop it, I'm still human, but it's pretty rare. I keep my Galaxy S2 in a rubbery Seidio case to prevent scratching it up (and in the event it does get dropped, the edge of the case provides a small lip/cushion between the screen and whatever surface the phone is going to land on). Whether or not the screen will break (and how badly) depends on several factors, including angle of impact and other sheer luck/physics based aspects of the fall. iPhones may very well be more fragile than some of the more durable Android phones, but I have personally seen an iPhone get dropped on a hard floor (no case) and come away with nary a scratch. So you never know. I do frequently see people using phones with severely cracked screens. Just sitting there on the train looking at their phone, swiping their finger across this spiderweb of cracks... I could not do that. It'd drive me crazy. If my screen ever DID get cracked for whatever reason, I'd have to get a new phone, pronto. Even if it meant I had to buy one because I couldn't upgrade through my carrier or anything. They are. Re: RevEleven's story, if an iPhone was dropped "on the bus" (I'm assuming from average bus seat/sitting person height, onto an average bus floor), and the screen was "toasted", that was a pretty unlucky hit (fell right on its face, with the screen squarely taking the full impact). Or a defective phone. Generally speaking, iPhones aren't quite THAT fragile. Recently I got a good laugh out of the return of what I like to call The Reluctant Proselytizer. There's this middle aged-guy who stands on a corner going on about Jesus and sin and whatnot with a microphone hooked into a speaker. Only, he kind of looks really uncomfortable, and has a manner of speaking that suggests someone who IS uncomfortable with public speaking. His delivery was really not-intense, with a fair number of stutters and pauses. "And then Jesus, he uh... he was uh, punished... for our sins. But, uh, in the eyes of, uh, God..." On and on like that. At times he almost sounded bored. It's honestly pretty hilarious. I've seen him doing this several times, though until a few days ago, I hadn't seen him out there in a couple years.
  13. Makes sense. Incidentally, speaking of "Japan-ness", part of the reason I went with the Japanese style gates is because for some time now, I've been considering (and now have basically decided on) the idea of markedly increasing the level of Japanese influence on Valocea - culturally, architecturally, linguistically. Different parts of the country will feel this influence to different degrees (and possibly in different ways, as well), but it will impact the "feel" of the country as a whole. (Note, just to clarify, when I say I'm increasing the amount of Japanese influence, I mean retroactively - Valocea is still a work in progress, which is why I don't deal in "real time" the way many in this thread do, i.e. posting updates to their system from the perspective of today. While I am building Valocea as it exists today, I still treat it as a work of fiction; by "adding Japanese influence", I don't mean that Valoceans, in 2014, have found themselves suddenly subject to closer cultural ties to Japan in recent times. Rather, I mean that as the "author", I'm going back and altering the history and nature of the country so that it included that influence in the first place.) Anyway, back to fare gates - I don't think the high turnstiles would have been used much if at all, especially nowadays. Fare evasion isn't a huge problem in Valocea, generally - partly because having fare gates on many services has been commonplace for a very long time, so people are used to it. But beyond that, the culture of Valocea leads to less likelihood of someone trying to dodge their fare in the first place (along with lower crime rates in general, for similar reasons), when compared to, say, the US. That said, controlled access with fare gate is not a universal standard for every transit system above the level of local buses/trams. While the services considered part of V-Net itself (i.e. intercity and high-speed rail) use fare gates, and most regional and commuter rail systems do as well, not all of the latter two types do. I mentioned that some small or remote stations don't have them; this is also true of some smaller commuter and regional systems, that see lower ridership and/or are located in a less urbanized, more spread out area where the services are more sparse (and of course, that distribution pattern would likely be one of the reasons the ridership is lower in the first place). Some of these small systems rely entirely on POP. Urban metro/subway type systems, though, use fare gates almost universally. Yeah, wide gates (as seen here, the far left gate) would be commonplace in Valocea as well. Since the gates would usually be arrayed in rows, there'd basically be one wide gate per row of gates at most average-sized stations, with larger and busier stations having several wide gates (and several gate rows). The low-funds warning is present on vehicle-mounted card readers here in the SF Bay Area, as well (it makes a different sound if your card is below a certain amount). I assume that feature is widespread among smart card fare payment systems at this point, but I don't actually know that for sure... That said, while our smart card system is, overall, pretty good, the presentation of information to the rider when using your card is not so hot. The screens on the card readers are washed out and hard to see (the BART ones are clearer, but are tiny and located in a dumb place on the fare gate, you kind of have to stop walking for a moment to really get a good look, which isn't a good idea if it's rush hour and there are a million people behind you who also want to use the gate, and as I mentioned BARTs fare gates in general are not very good). Cause of people with wings! Right? Ohh, interesting, thanks for the link. Do you know if they abandoned the "ever-open" style, or if that is still being used anywhere in the UK? Because it seems like the modern Japanese gates use such a system... or, if not "ever" open, at least "often" open. I've noticed in videos of Japanese train stations that sometimes the fare gates are closed (and open when a person uses a card or ticket to get through), and sometimes they are just open already (and the person uses their ticket/card and get the "go" light and sound so they can walk through, but the swinging paddles never move). As far as I can tell, they will sometimes close if enough time goes by and no one is using them, but because of the EXTREMELY high volume of passengers Japanese stations see during peak times, if people are streaming through one after another, they will just stay open, with the system closing the gate if it detects someone trying to get through improperly, rather than opening from the closed position for every single fare. Really smart design when you think about it; would help prevent jam-ups due to stuck gates and would cut down on wear-and-tear on the equipment. Ah, gotcha - makes sense. Wasn't trying to tell you not to use them, of course - just figured I'd mention it just in case, haha. No reason you can't use the DC/Hong Kong style gates with smart cards. Japan is certainly ahead of the curve when it comes to transit infrastructure technology in general, but the smart card in and of itself is becoming more and more commonplace in a number of countries.
  14. Ticket gates! Interesting query, I like little details like this. The most common type of fare gates found within Valocea in modern times are Japanese-styled gates. In times past, older fare gates would have probably been the "manual" style with a metal turnstile that must be pushed through after access has been granted. But those were difficult to use for people with large items (packages, strollers, etc) and the disabled, and slowed the flow of traffic through stations in general, which gets quite high during peak times in Valocea's busier stations. V-Net considered several systems and manufacturers, but were overall most impressed with the systems in Japan, particularly Tokyo. So, those gates were adopted and began to crop up on many systems (and when it comes to infrastructure components such as these, the larger local agencies throughout the country tend to follow V-Net's lead, so these have become quite commonplace). Note that V-Net, being the national passenger rail operator, was involved in the first place because - like Japan - ticket gates are used for rail services from rapid transit metros on up to intercity and high-speed rail services. Those use the same type of gates (again, as in Japan; as you can see from comparing this photo of a ticket gate leading to high-speed Shinkansen tracks to the one above - they are basically the same gates excepting some detailing). Compared to the old manual gates, these allow very fast pass-through, especially with the advent of smart cards for fare payment, which have become extremely common in Valocea. One of the things I (and, no doubt, the people of Valocea!) really like about these gates is the presentation of information. You can see what I mean in video (I've linked it to the part where the guy goes through the gate). Everything is very clear, with the arrow lighting up when your card is read (accompanied by a very pleasant confirmation sound). The screen showing the fare deducted and the balance is large and placed near the end of the total length of the gate, so you can look at it as you walk through, a vast improvement over the tiny little readouts mounted just in front of the card reader on BARTs faregates (so to really see what's on the screen, you have to basically stop your forward momentum for a moment).Proof-of-payment or "honor" systems are common on local buses and trams, but extremely rare on metros, commuter and regional rail, or intercity rail (as well as urban rapid bus systems where the bus service acts like a metro, e.g. with dedicated, enclosed stations). Exceptions to this are in certain stations that are very small and/or remote, when the presence of fare gates is considered to be unnecessary. Instead, such stations will have ticket scanner/card reader machines, again similar to those in Japan (and probably from the same manufacturers), which passengers use to tap on and off prior to boarding or leaving. Ra'akone: Looks like the manual style I described is present in the second image you linked to? Also, a note about the "Washington/Hong Kong style" gates (the third image you linked to). I don't know what this necessarily means that the gates were manufactured by the same company, or around the same time, as BARTs, since I don't really know much about ticket gate manufacture. But that said, those gates REALLY look like the BART gates in the SF Bay Area. A lot, as you can see. And BARTs gates don't seem to be particularly reliable - from card reader failure to the barriers getting physically stuck, issues are rather common. Of course, BARTs infrastructure maintenance in general is lousy, so that can't help, but the gates may be somewhat unreliable in and of themselves.
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