GWJ Strategy Gaming Group: Now Playing Cities: Skylines

Here is a Reddit breakdown of DLC for Cities, as of May 2022. Note that these are the major DLC packs released (with Airports being the last, I think) but there are a ton of Creator Packs and radio stations and such to add variety and flavor to your game. I'd go with the "Definitive" rankings if I were just starting. Just mind your budget, and check out GOG, GMG, Humble Bundle etc for good deals for steam keys each week. Enjoy!

... Most Popular Most Recommended Most Highly Desired "Definitive" Ranking
1. Mass Transit (-) Mass Transit (-) Mass Transit (-) Mass Transit (-)
2. Industries (+1) Industries (-) Airports (*) Industries (-)
3. Parklife (+1) Parklife (-) Industries (-1) Parklife (-)
4. After Dark (-2) After Dark (-) Parklife (-1) After Dark (-)
5. Green Cities (+1) Green Cities (+1) After Dark (+2) Green Cities (+2)
6. Snowfall (-1) Campus (-1) Sunset Harbor (-) Campus (-1)
7. Sunset Harbor (+1) Airports (*) Campus (-2) Airports (*)
8. Campus (-1) Snowfall (-) Green Cities (-4) Snowfall (-1)
9. Natural Disasters (-) Sunset Harbor (-2) Snowfall (-) Sunset Harbor (-1)
10. Airports (*) Natural Disasters (-1) Natural Disasters (-1) Natural Disasters (-1)

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/zAWnPw2.jpg)
An older shot of my largest city, with the original city center preserved as historic. This was around 60K citizens. Soon after this, I remade the city and in the process replaced the city center with dense development (as well as added new districts, etc. I am now at 86K and growing.

I've barely touched this game - is there a campaign-type mode or just "here's a sandbox, go build a city!"

The game starts you limited in what you can do, and every time you hit a population gate, it introduces new features and helps you learn them; that's the campaign and tutorial aspect. It also ensures you are building a city that is sustainable through the use of the economy, although of course you can turn off the money and actually run it as a sandbox if you are trying to build a copy of a real-life area.

So go either way, but I recommend a regular play-through for your first, at least until you are comfortable with the basics. Also, check out "City Planner Plays" on Youtube, as well as the dedicated discussion thread here, for useful info.

Quick check... Yep Cities was a ps plus game a while back so will download and give it a spin on PS4. Let's see how it translated to console.

This is probably better suited to the game thread, but Overcharged Egg - one of the better cities skylines YouTubers- has just done a new beginners guide series in the last month or two. It might well cover a lot of DLC you might not have, but generally speaking the principles are all the same and I find his videos very informative.

There are so many folks working on Youtube with this game, just find the one with the focus and style you enjoy. I like the insights from someone who does it professionally, but that's not even close to the only way to think about the game.

Bubblefuzz wrote:

Quick check... Yep Cities was a ps plus game a while back so will download and give it a spin on PS4. Let's see how it translated to console.

Oh maybe I can play after all. Wasn't looking to buy something new, hoping to clear a pile game.

Robear wrote:

Here is a Reddit breakdown of DLC for Cities, as of May 2022.

Nice, somehow I already own Natural Disasters, bringing up the rear in every ranking.

That's the only feature I have never really tried. Just... Not a fan.

Hmm, I have Mass Transit and Parklife? Wonder when I got those?

Probably some sale, or as a gift? I mean, you could check your transaction history lol

There seems to be a bunch of 5* maps available on Steam. Any recommendations?

I think I still have one key for the base game on steam, if anyone wants it. Just PM me, normal Keys to Happiness thread rules apply.

Sorry for the delay guys -had to go into the office for the first time in a few weeks. Thread is now up.

Robear wrote:

Probably some sale, or as a gift? I mean, you could check your transaction history lol

I don't know, maybe. Don't care that much, was just surprised - I thought I stopped playing when the first DLC came out. As an old Paradoxer, I know how that always goes.

Probably going to spring for a couple more before the Steam sale ends. Then see if I can design an interchange that is semi-functional or at least slightly aesthetically pleasing.

Again, tboon, watch a few "City Planner Plays" videos. That will reinvigorate you.

If nothing else, his reminder of the road hierarchy and the reasons behind it will help you make functional intersections. I run my city of 86K mostly without stoplights or stop signs - his advice on traffic is that good.

Nope, this game suffers from Paradox Syndrome, where the process of learning how to play the game is so devoid of hand-holding that it's just too painful to bother digging through to get to the juicy middle.

"watch a 30 minute video on Youtube" is not a reasonable tutorial.

I can't imagine what sort of hand-holding you'd need if you'd ever played any other city builder previously. It's easy enough to get a decent sized city going before you run into the traffic issues that'll kill your city if you don't dig into that system.

In fact, I think I'd have the opposite complaint -- the game (in normal mode -- I'm aware you can just unlock everything if you want) leads you along too slowly by only unlocking new tools at various population levels.

The game is very careful not to add in new elements until you've shown you have at least minimal mastery of what you have opened up already. And it's not a Paradox-developed game; they publish it but Colossal Order is their own dev shop.

I suggested video tutorials just to get people started more quickly, but for me, I started years ago without them and did just fine. It's a matter of, do you want to go into it without the hand-holding, or do you want an idea of what you are doing? I started with the first but after years and getting stuck with traffic issues I went to the second. Having talked to a bunch of people I know, I think most of them started with online guides that carefully explain the "why" and "how" of features, so that's what I suggest these days.

Also, Bill, I fixed a 69K city with massive traffic issues in about an hour after looking at the first half of two videos, and was at almost 90K at the end of the weekend. Just gotta be willing to tear your city up to make changes. (Oh, and use biking and some form of non-road-use mass transit - trams, bus lanes... subways are good for me, they take a huge load off the road network. Traffic in the latest updates is no longer the killer it once was. My traffic flow is around 80% or better and I barely have any stop signs running, and I think no traffic lights at all...)

billt721 wrote:

I can't imagine what sort of hand-holding you'd need if you'd ever played any other city builder previously.

Last city builder I played was on the SNES.

Fell at the the first hurdle - couldn't figure out how to get water and electricity to zones.

And it's fine, I don't need some patient person to explain it to my dumb ass. I'll happily move along - too many games not enough time.

Yeah pretty sure Sim City 2000 was the last I played. We'll see how this goes...

I echo the "Watch a 30 minute video for beginners before you start" advice for this game - even though I don't have a lot of hours in the game, without these I would have had even less. They really are worth the time investment.

There are times when the game feels more like a traffic flow simulator than a city building sim, but to be honest that's sort of the point for modern cities I suppose.

Honestly, that's something that is avoidable, or at least easily manageable, with a few simple understandings. That's why I suggest a few videos.

Sorbicol wrote:

There are times when the game feels more like a traffic flow simulator than a city building sim, but to be honest that's sort of the point for modern cities I suppose.

The dev's previous games were the Cities in Motion series (enjoyable puzzles in themselves if traffic simulation is your thing), which is explicitly about traffic, so not too surprising that their first full city builder would be focused on the same thing. Though 'focused' is probably too strong of a word -- the game is a fairly unguided city builder where the issues you're likely to run into are based on traffic issues.

Industrial areas generate truck traffic. They should be connected directly to the Highway so that traffic does not travel through Commercial or Residential areas. (The noise and high traffic bother residents and shoppers.)

Commercial areas generate more traffic than any other, so scattering them in small groupings in different areas might end up clogging your roads. Try to establish Commercial districts to avoid this, and make sure the roads there are big enough to handle the resulting traffic).

Residential areas generate about as much car traffic as Industrial areas do trucks, but they go everywhere.

So, with that in mind, how do you reduce traffic on your streets? Simple.

Optionally, build foot paths into your residential neighborhoods so people can walk through blocks rather than around them (if you design large enough blocks to allow this; they can also be used to connect parks). Encourage bike use with bike paths on and off road. But most of all, set up at least one and maybe more types of mass transit for workers, students, tourists, park-goers and nightlifers and so forth to get to and from the areas where they want to go, without too many vehicle changes. And there are tons of tools to do this: subways are great, trams, monorails and busses can have their own lanes like bikes, even rail and planes can bring in tourists who would otherwise hit the highways.

The one thing I am leery of is taxis. I have not played enough with those to figure out if they help or hinder traffic. I know NYC, for example, swarms with them, even though their busses and subway system are crowded; taxis are probably an improvement on individual car ownership, but by how much?

I did try putting a new parking lot element from the Mall expansion in a residential neighborhood, but it was never used. I pulled it and will continue street parking until it's a problem.

Finally, the road hierarchy -

Highways and Large roads are designed to allow cars to build up to high speeds to get from exit 4 to exit 18 quickly. The more interchanges you have, the slower they will go, and when they fill up, that's a *lot* of traffic to drain. Use them as city expressways with few ramps/intersections.

Connecting to those and running through districts will be Medium roads (or "collectors"). These should gather traffic from Small roads, which run through neighborhoods and may often be multi-dead-end designs (so as to prevent inadvertent overloading by through traffic that should stay on collectors until the last leg). For all of these, the same intersection principle applies: the more you have, the more you will slow down traffic. This means the blocks should be *bigger than the regular*; small roads that end in neighborhoods rather than a second intersection should be fine in most cases; and for the larger roads, don't put high-traffic infrastructure like hospitals, schools, etc on collectors or Large roads if you can avoid it. (They will cause traffic jams as vehicles come and go right into the big road.)

These principles should help.

5577 citizens, $50K in the bank, in the green, second area bought (soon to be three), everything rolling along nicely. Hope you all are having fun with it!

Just as an FYI, Humankind - Amplitude Studio's flawed attempt at a proper Civilisation competitor is currently 80% off in a weeklong steam offer

Sorbicol wrote:

Just as an FYI, Humankind - Amplitude Studio's flawed attempt at a proper Civilisation competitor is currently 80% off in a weeklong steam offer

I just saw this, very tempted at that price. Does anyone know if it changed much since release? I played in on game pass at launch.

I'm in on Cities: Skylines. This has been in my backlog for far too long.