After a break I am slowing getting back into streaming and creating Cities Skylines content using Neo South Auckland as my current example.
I usually upload both the RAW version for those wanting the entire run through of a city building session, as well as snippets highlighting specific elements like a piece of Urban Design or a Scene.
My latest raw run through from last week can be seen below. The focus was on building the supporting infrastructure for the Riccarton Centre I was also building alongside. This is my second ever attempt in 6 years to build Bus Rapid Transit (it is not my normal play style as I use the rail types more) given I have actual dedicated BRT assets available to do so.
So how did it map out and where will this lead next run through?
I will fetch highlights of the completion of Riccarton Centre, the set up of Riccarton South as a residential support node, further establishment of more residential for the City, and the full operation of one if not two of the Rapid Bus Transit Lines.
Divided Highways and Toll Plazas – all about adding the scenes
From time to time I like to add scenes to my Mixed Reality city creations in Cities Skylines. A scene is a focal point of a City you can go back to when either demonstrating something or just want somewhere to go when not busy doing the city building of infrastructure, zones, lay transit lines down, rinse and repeat.
Scenes can be as something as small as doing a divided highway when median barriers are not present or the highway splits off, or something more complex as a multi-lane motorway toll plaza.
In this post I showcase both a quickfire and more comprehensive set of scenes that adds realism to your city.
From time to time a two way highway or even road ends up being grade separated. Cities Skylines when it comes to divided roads is often a bit crude, but 10-15 minutes later a quick scene can make that highway division just that little bit more realistic:
I must get node controller to straighten out those kinks in the highway merges.
Motorway Toll Plaza
Some days a Mayor, Premier, Chancellor or the boffins down in the Transport Department reconcile to themselves that motorists should pay that little bit extra for using a section of motorway or road. In Neo South Auckland there are toll plazas on the intra city motorways that feed into the City while the inter city motorways that form a ring around the City are free. However, the toll plazas in themselves are a bit plain if they were so I decided to make a scene on one half of the toll plaza (that can be easily replicated on the other half). This is what I came up with:
The signs are animated as I made Lane 8 closed to add a bit more spice to the scene. It takes around two hours to build a scene like this however, it is easy to replicate using Procedural Objects onto the other half of the motorway. Means what took two hours first time round should be all done second time around with some good old fashioned copy + paste.
Scenes can create focal points in your city and can be both something as simple as a divided highway scene, or as comprehensive as a detailed toll plaza.
I will get some ‘How to’s’ on one of my staples in all my cities: the transit hub! Because Transit Hubs make the City go round – or rather not as much stuck in traffic!
Getting the transport system right – both vanilla and modded
In this longer highlight I go through the basic notions of Road Hierarchy and its planning, building and optimisation. Note: the City is still in very early stages so transit and cycling infrastructure will be in its infancy (localised) until the City further establishes.
I do cover both Vanilla and Modded game play styles.
Settling the infrastructure down, going through what Road Hierarchies mean (full play through)
In Day 2 of recreating South Auckland as part of a Mixed Reality build in Cities skylines I go through the motions of laying down the core transport infrastructure. This is a full run through, I will have separate posts covering the highlights of Road Hierarchies, and Transport Optimisations.
So why Road Hierarchies?
Would you put residential on a six lane arterial road, or send trucks and buses down a tiny road?
Next up: Day 3 – preparing the zones and establishing the city
Using Mixed Reality to build South Auckland as it might have been
After giving my second ever only Winter map a go (Antarctica City) I went back over to my stock standard Temperate Maps reopening Vanilla Coast to have another crack it (the first had to stop as the Industries DLC had come out when the city was in its end phases).
With that I introduce South Auckland, a Mixed Reality build named after my IRL home sub-region here in Auckland, New Zealand. If you are wondering what Mixed Reality is the term means the blending of Virtual and Real World concepts for the purpose of education, entertainment or showcase. Given I stream Cities Skylines on Twitch the Mixed Reality version is more around education as I go through the real life motions of building a City in its various stages of its life on a virtual platform.
Day 1 of South Auckland, a Mixed Reality creation named after my home sub region:
Day 1 looks at the methodology I use in laying the foundations of the City. Basically I am doing the equivalent of the real life Auckland (Spatial) Plan in working out how things will be shaped followed by laying down key transport routes the spatial form be influenced by.
Note: This is the full play through of this particular segment of Cities Skylines. From time to time I will publish Highlights as separate blog posts.
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.