Cities: Skylines from Colossal Order

Yep, I really enjoyed XL up until I got a good-sized city, then the performance issues (CPU and memory leak) - that NEVER got fixed - killed that enjoyment.

Every now and then I get the urge to reinstall XL and start a new city, even though I know I'll hit a wall eventually. The fact that XL did do many things well makes the totally neglected performance issues that much more infuriating. I bought the first iteration of the single-player game (XL 2011) and because of the technical issues that the developer/publisher refused to fix, I didn't buy any of the "sequels" they cranked out during the following years, that reportedly STILL had the same performance issues.

This is the first Skylines DLC that sounds tempting. I've always wanted them to add more game to Skylines.

MeatMan wrote:

Yep, I really enjoyed XL up until I got a good-sized city, then the performance issues (CPU and memory leak) - that NEVER got fixed - killed that enjoyment.

Every now and then I get the urge to reinstall XL and start a new city, even though I know I'll hit a wall eventually. The fact that XL did do many things well makes the totally neglected performance issues that much more infuriating. I bought the first iteration of the single-player game (XL 2011) and because of the technical issues that the developer/publisher refused to fix, I didn't buy any of the "sequels" they cranked out during the following years, that reportedly STILL had the same performance issues.

I bought them all, but then warned everyone off of them because of the issues still being present. I did my duty.

I remember trying XL and hating it. And the reception it got was pretty bad, at the time... I'm kind of puzzled to see people with fond memories of it.

Even bad games do some things right. I loved parts of it, but it was an incredibly easy and shallow game. All the cities looked the same.

But it did some truly great stuff that I wish Cities Skylines would copy

What features do you all think Cities: Skylines did really well? When the next big city builder comes out in a few years, what features from Skylines will we wistfully recall and wish were included? The reason I ask is, my overriding memory of Skylines is that it just wasn't sh*t.

I like the traffic management. Strides the line between ineffective and overly complicated. You do have to build to its quirks, if you want to min/max it, but it is a coherent system and offers a nice challenge once the city is up and running.

I also enjoy the variety of transport types, the zone ordinances (which create significant differences between what would otherwise be nearly identical areas) and definitely the new park system, which makes every square meter of the map useful. Social management with regards to industry and business staffing is pretty cool, too. And the variety of industries helps too, you can customize your industries to your city that way.

And finally, the moddability of the game. Sooooo many different buildings, roads, props, all sorts of visual variety to enrich the game.

The Industries DLC drops today. It includes new buildings, I think new Industrial zones, vehicles, resources, roads and industries. You can manage supply chains from harvesting to processing to feeding industries, and then exporting to other cities (?) or off the map as usual. Should be interesting.

More info. Apparently, there's an "Industries Plus" for $3 more on Steam, but I'm unclear as to what it adds. Here's the list of features from ParadoxPlaza:

Make It Happen - Follow your products from harvesting to processing, storage and production, then transport them to commercial zones or export to other cities.

Captain Your Own Industry - Define an area with the industry area tool and place highly specialized industrial buildings to build and manage the production chain from raw material extraction up to final end product. Industry Areas are divided into four types based on the natural resource they are processing: Farming, Forest, Ore and Oil. These areas can level up upon reaching productions goals and staffing requirements.

Build it up, Buttercup - New industrial buildings include Extractors, Warehouse Facilities, Processing and Auxiliary Buildings, Industrial Props and Roads. Unique Factories, such as Food, Toy, Furniture, Car and Electronics produce luxury products, and require a large quantity of workers, water and electricity as well as input from your industries.

Ship It - Manage traffic and logistics with industry warehouses and the use of the new Cargo Services including a cargo airport.

Go Postal - Boost your citizens’ well-being with mail delivery and collection services. Post sorting facilities handle mail between outside connections and the post offices, and new Post Van and Truck vehicles enable the carriage.

Wonk Hard - Three new Industry Policies and four City-wide Policies, including Workers’ Union, Sorting, Tolls, Wi-Fi, Logistics, Work Safety and Automation.

Five New Maps - Rich in natural resources, transportation options and industrial opportunities, these new maps have all the right stuff.

And four new hats for Chirper!

But wait! There’s more! Coinciding with the Industries expansion, Cities: Skylines is getting a new radio channel and a free content update.

Synthetic Dawn Radio is the most far-out radio station to land in-game ever! It features 16 original new songs across four genres: 80s Electro, Vocoding Electro, Breakbeats and Futuristic Synths. Players can tune in and zone out to some stellar tunes as synth-spin master DJ Jessica Statler brings the funk.

The free update coming alongside Industries will introduce toll booths (and road tolls, naturally), which will slow traffic’s roll a bit, but generate extra income for the city. Players will also get the option to mark zoned buildings as historical, preserving their style, and the ability to create custom name lists for citizens, districts and spawned buildings.

Pretty sure that "Synthetic Dawn Radio Station" is the only thing the "plus" edition gets you.

That's a must-have, though. For me.

Quite bizarre episode of 3MA this week, wherein the panelists had clearly decided they wanted to be actual real life urban planners instead of, you know, having fun in a video game.

kergguz wrote:

Quite bizarre episode of 3MA this week, wherein the panelists had clearly decided they wanted to be actual real life urban planners instead of, you know, having fun in a video game.

I think they have similar feelings that I do about Skylines and were hoping Industries would breathe some needed depth onto it. TJ wrapped up my sentiments exactly when he said Skylines is more of an artist's tool to paint nice looking cities. There really isn't much push back or penalties for poorly managing your city. Traffic is the one thing i feel it does pretty well from a game standpoint, but even if you don't manage it well, people and businesses do just fine.

There isn't anything inherently wrong about Skyline's approach, it just doesn't make it very interesting to play if you want more meaty problems to overcome and consequences to keep you in check.

I agreed with what TJ said, but thought the podcast on the whole was derailed by discussions about real world planning and industrial scanarios that frankly sound quite boring if they were to be modelled in a video game. *Shrug* maybe just me.

I agree that they did get sidetracked. I could have used more talk on how to gameify some of it, or what games got certain aspects right.

I love the freeform aspect of it. That's the attraction to me. "By an hour in, you're chance of a tornado wrecking your hard work is 35%, and will continue to increase over time" is not my idea of a good time. I would not mind a set of pre-built cities with problems to fix, but then that would take away from adding to the system.

I hate random events like that too. I like the systems to give push back to me as a player, not just some random thing occurring.

I have yet to turn on disasters.

The only citybuilding game I've ever seriously played with disasters turned on was SimCity 2000.

I agree about the lack of pushback, but I think the simulation pushing back in Skylines would need a careful rethink of how to approach it, because it doesn't have the tools to let the player deal with the existing systems pushing back more than they already do.

Really, no citybuilder I'm aware of has ever managed to properly depict running an already-existing city. The SimCity formula is about expanding a city by building out infrastructure. The maintaining-a-garden kind of city builder is in short supply, despite most cities not being planned out the way SimCity does it.

Heck, every city builder does farms wrong, mostly depicting them as industrial areas you have to design and build out. Real-world American cities that are surrounded by farmland have them more as terrain to deal with than a thing the city-planner had any influence over designing.

I think it might depend on where you are. Where I grew up, farmland was the wide swathes of open spaces between cities and towns. City expansion often looked like chunks of former farmland being bought up and developed outside of city limits, which would then sometimes be brought into city limits or left as just part of the county or incorporated into a new town. Trips to see my grandparents involved hours of driving through rolling hills covered in wheat, and pasture land, and other crops, punctuated by small towns every half hour or so with populations numbering in the low hundreds.

In Rhode Island, well—I live within a 15 minute walk of downtown Providence, and I can go on a 30 minute bicycle ride and be visiting farm stands and buying fresh cider and cider donuts at a local orchard. It's true that farms here still tend to be on the outskirts of things, but they're much more integrated into what I would have thought of as "low density urban" levels of development than anything like what I thought of as "rural" when I was growing up in eastern Washington state. There doesn't seem to really be any land that's not within the limits of some municipality or other.

It's a big big big big difference in how things work. And, I imagine that farming in western European nations is yet again different, but much closer to what it's like here in Rhode Island than it was like in Washington.

So... I think it's actually realistic—for the sorts of farming that happens in areas like where I live now. And the other kind of farming, well, doesn't need to be modeled in a city sim because it's not an urban phenomenon.