I usually engage in Macro-Detailing – that is using the Zones and infrastructure to “detail” my city however, more recently I have been engaged in Micro-Detailing or going right down to site level to detail a City with props and decals to make the City look more realistic.
The game uses mods and assets to custom assets to spice up my cities and various themes are used depending on the City.
One thing not often done, or at least recorded in Screenshots and video is what the City is like from Cim or ground level perspective in the game. For me I love dropping down to First Person Mode to see what is going on a Cim level and see all the interactions in place – or rather traffic fouling up as I forgot to do something in that area.
Speaking of which First Person mode whether it be the free camera or riding transit, it is great for investigating where problems in the City might show up and getting it fixed as it wont always show up in birds-eye or God view. First person mode also makes for great pictures or video of your City so here is one of Antarctica City after I recently expanded the Heavy Rail.
For those wondering why all the mid-rise? It is because I use the Euro Theme by default meaning I get the Euro based buildings that cap out at eight storeys where as the International theme has unlimited height. Ironically though (or not) the Euro theme buildings and designs allow for higher density (in terms of population per set area) compared to all but the largest of super-talls in the International theme.
I have also done an Industry 101-301 series on Twitch. I will place these into YouTube at the conclusion of the series.
Fine tuning the city to avoid massive rebuilds and expensive motorways
Once you have settled into the basic mechanics of Cities Skylines with a functioning transport system, the zones nicely laid out and the civic infrastructure all working does the fun really begin.
Fun what fun?
As the city gets larger it gets more complex as an organism especially if playing modded as I do. This means regular check ups across the City to make sure the transport and transit systems are working as optimally as they should. The good news is that most fixes you come upon are not major and can be done very quickly and cheaply. That said from time to time a major overhaul might be needed but that is for another day. The point being that six lane roads and motorways are not and should not be the go to fix – PUBLIC AUTHORITIES TAKE NOTE.
In this post I go through some medium and advanced play throughs in using some extended tools to help fine tune your City as well as giving it more realism. Note: I use Real Time Mod which simulates the full day/night cycle and includes the rush hours, shopping, events, and shift work effects upon a City. More HERE.
Standardised Cargo Terminals that also work for Transit Hubs
Using Traffic Flow Tool, TMPE, and basic fixes to get traffic going
Tactical Urbanism 102 in Antarctic City – the Downtown
Tactical Urbanism 103 using one way streets in a leisure district
Using TMPE, Line Marking Tool, and Decals on Roads (Advanced Play Through)
Using Transport Lines Manager to check up on Transit
Of course as the City continues to grow and evolve more checks and tweaks are done, especially as more transit lines are added and old ones might need replacing.
As a Spatial Planning and Urban Geographer in real life the concepts I practice there can make its way into Cities Skylines and vice versa. For more on tactical urban see this post over at my main blog: Tactical Urbanism Reaches South Auckland!
So can Tactical Urban be done in Cities Skylines? Yes it can. Below is a high level overview of doing Tactical Urbanism in converting a painted cycle lane to a separated cycleway on a main thoroughfare route:
Part 1 is the high level overview and doing the most basic form of tactical urbanism. As this particular City grows and evolves I will do further videos on Tactical Urbanism with some being more complex than others. Other Spatial Planning and Urban Design concepts will be outlined as well.
Hopefully these videos can give some inspiration to provide some extra realism in your cities based on real world concepts today.
In Cities Skylines your city can fail in one of two ways; population abandons it because your City Management was less than desirable, or the City has become too successful and both housing and infrastructure have not kept up.
Well for Valhalla City we had a case of the latter. After the ore and farming industries opened up we had a massive influx of residents which meant an influx of traffic to boot. Queue the City’s housing and infrastructure in a bit of a pickle. So over the space of several streams (or strims) I attempt to fix one crisis after another. But unlike the real life New Zealand Finance Minister we do not engage in tinkering, we engage in full blown Public Works – NO HOLDS BAR!
So did I fix both sets of crisis that had hit Valhalla City? Find out in the full video streams of the week’s play below. For live streams see: https://www.twitch.tv/palpatine001
The September 20 fly through:
What does the future hold for Valhalla? Tune in and find out!
An often overlooked feature using Cities Skylines is that you can stylise individual Districts to your tastes or objectives. Most often we will select what is known as a “Theme” and implement it city-wide. For example my go to city-wide Theme is European and European Suburbia as I don’t like the high rise and super-talls that come with the International theme (Europe also has higher people density as well ironically).
However, using Building Themes I can set individual Districts to have individualised Districts. For example I use the University housing content pack and the Building Theme to create a University district with student housing and commercial services. In the video below I did another theme with Kiwi housing and civic assets (commercial is still being worked on by the asset maker).
How do you do individualised District styles? Check the video below:
Apologies for lack of blog material recently with things being busy at home. What I will do is write a post at least once a week summing up what I have been doing on my City with highlights from Twitch.
In the meantime some highlights from Valhalla City:
We do zoning, we do traffic, we ride trams into rendered tunnels, we do sign writing and we do detailing.
With Grand City of Solaria (see: https://www.twitch.tv/palpatine001) I decided to go for a theme. So using some assets and the European Theme I went for a rather interesting blend of: Soviet/British Nuclear Steampunk with a dash of German Zeppelins thrown in.
How did I go? I think we are getting there with mid rise buildings, the massive Tribune, Monorail and of course atomic power – all things theorised in those books in the 1950’s.
In the end though there is something about the massive central Tribune backed by atomic cooling towers with Zeppelins flying everywhere that gives the City a unique feel.
You can see some of the work below.
Getting around the City is straight forward with bus, metro rail, Zeppelin or Helicopter. If Active Modes are your thing there is a network of Bike Super Highways criss-crossing the majority of the City and they are very well patronised. Of course power generation is 100% Green with either Atomic or Hydro Power providing juice to the City.
The question is would I live in this City? I think I would!
Another day and more work to do in the Grand City of Solaria. Recently I did a podcast on Micro Districts and the Soviet Union (see: Micro Districts, the Soviet Union and Modern City Planning). In the most recent streams of Cities Skylines I put the Micro District theory to the test as well as finally building the new Metro system to serve the City.
The following three videos look at where the Grand City of Solaria is or was at as of the 17th June before I started the Harbour District, followed by the Metro being built, and two Micro Districts being laid out.
The Grand City of Solaria as of June 17
The Complexities of Building a Multi Tier Metro System
Building Micro Districts
I did manage to get one of the three Metro Lines working as well. The other two will be done once the Harbour District, and Palpatine Shores are both built up. You might also see the Northern/Southern Lights are enabled when it is night time giving some absolute stunning shots.
Once I have the Harbour District set up I will get some night shots of the Monorail working as it goes through the entire City. The night shots are just stunning.
Next post will cover the Harbour District and Palpatine Shores!