#CitiesSkylines Industries DLC: My Thoughts and First Try Out

Recommended

I got the new Industries DLC for Cities Skylines as soon as it came out earlier this week. For a teaser on what this new DLC you can see the trailer below:

 

As with any new DLC the mods that I use always break and we have to wait for updates. Rather surprisingly the only mod that did break was the Transport Manager – President Edition and even then that was minor (the toll booths wouldn’t charge the traffic going through them). So I was able to load the game up straight away with a new map and start delving into this new content and the resulting game play style.

For those wondering where San Layton City is, I have put the City on hold until the Transport Manager is fixed as the City is very reliant on it. Once the mod is fixed I will be retrofitting the City to incorporate the Industries.

 

In the meantime it is time to create a new city with one of the new maps.

Introducing Manukau

 

I loaded up one of the new maps from the Industries DLC and named it Manukau (named after the core urban area for Southern Auckland the place where I reside).

Let’s take a look at the new map:

The map Manukau is on is one with a major river and several secondary river with major hill ranges at the back end of the map and the ocean at the front. The buildable area is low at 60% but it was also very rich in natural resources needed for industry. And of course motorway and rail connects are plentiful.

Without further-ado lets get building:

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One motorway connection, a roundabout with spurs for latter development, and a 6 lane avenue heading into the area where the city will start its life. Looking at that picture above the farming and ore industry will be to the right and the first residential and commercial areas to the left. The rail line is at the top of the picture allowing me to get inter-city connections straight away.

 

Now for some Industries road/engineering porn with one of the new features in the DLC: concrete roads:

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Of course one of the new features that came in the (free) update was TOLL ROADS! Yes sir I can now charge my cims and freight traffic a toll to use my roads. So that is what I did on the two entrances leading in Manukau River Town and Wiri:

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At the moment the toll is $1 for cars and $2 for trucks.

 

INDUSTRY!

To start with I began with farming and ore. The reason being that your starting City needs food and the coal fired power station needs ore (I won’t build the nuclear station just yet as that would be overkill). The forestry (wood) is on the other side of the map so unless I plant trees en-mass this early on for now we will be importing wood for the beginning stages of the Manukau.

Let’s check out the beginning of the ore industry and the rail terminal:

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As I said earlier I am using a 420MW coal fired station until the City is big enough to handle a nuclear power station. As for the mine? It is an underground mine so the foot print is small.

 

Farming!

The particular area where Manukau was founded is rich in natural resource for farming so what do we do? We build farms consisting of: cows, sheep, pigs, fruit trees, wheat, corn, cotton and whatever they grow in the glass house.

Of course this is where supply management comes into play. I have a bakery that produces pastries for the initial stages of the City. For the bakery to work I need Animal Products and Flour. To get Animal Products I need animal farms which need crops for them to feed on. For flour I also need crops as well. Just to make it more fun you need silos and warehouses to store raw products, intermediary products or the finished product ready for distribution. In times of shortages those same storage facilities are needed to store the imported materials.

The good news is my bakery is able to produce those pastries, the bad news? Flour is constantly short but that is owing to not enough workers or workers barracks to house the workers. So next time I load the game I will be building more residential areas.

Let’s take a look at the farms and bakery:

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The Real Time mod means Industry does not work at night (at this point in time) so it makes logistics just that more interesting. And yes your value-added products do make the City money!

As for where the industry is:

 

And now for some logistics stuff:

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Some extra transport pictures including TRAFFIC JAM at the toll road:

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At the moment there is only one junction to the motorway. But I have laid down three more spur roads that will also connect up to the motorways as well giving more connection options. And yes they will be tolled!

 

Finally some urban shots of Manukau River Town:

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If you are up to handle ever more complex supply management chains from raw materials to unique factories including ship yards and food factories then I do recommend the Industries DLC.

If not then the free update that included Toll Roads will even have the most urban of urbanists rubbing their hands at the toll booths going CHING with all the traffic passing through them.

Hopefully will squeeze some game time in this weekend to allow further work on the farming industry.

Amenities and Residential Development. What Goes Missing When Planning?

A question often asked

 

A question often asked in the real world as well as Cities Skylines: How to upscale your residential area – that is how to trigger intensification or how to get a new residential area started.

This is a crossover post with my Talking Southern Auckland blog on amenities and residential areas. Amenities or rather facilities, services, conveniences, comforts  and creature comforts are things we all need but things we often forget about when it comes to residential planning. Specifically when a residential area has been upzoned for intensification or a new residential laid down (Greenfield) what encourages their developments.

 

The question above gets asked in the Cities Skylines forums as players struggle to achieve their aim of a new residential area or an existing residential area upgrading to a more intense and more wealthy one. That struggle can apply to a real life City as well.

Yes we can all lay down some roads, put in the pipes, maybe add a bus line or two and put down a school. But that is not quite it is it? Sure you get the basic housing going in your new area but not the more high-end stuff you are looking for.

Remember what the synonyms for amenities are: facilities, comforts etc and so on.

 

Let’s take a look at a new residential area I started in San Solarian City:

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This is a new Greenfield area next to an existing urban area. The basics such as roads, pipes and a bus line have been laid down. But if you look deeper the amenities reveal themselves and would be what attracts new residents to the area quickly.

Parks, public loos, a cycle way connecting to the existing urban area, ferry station, some basic shops, lane ways, a busway and shared space roads. All are classed as amenities, facilities, comforts and creature comforts and are what makes the area suitable for rapid development.

 

Looking at an existing area:

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This is that existing urban area I was talking about just earlier. A high density area that is still developing. Amenities are still needed to trigger further intensification as there is still quite a bit of blank land especially commercial land available. Simple things such as a new park or loo will often do the trick while upgrading the road or transit line requires a bit more investment.

In this case improving access through that large roundabout in the picture triggering off further urban development after the busway construction triggered off the last round.

 

In the end it comes down to more than just a road, a pipe and a bus stop to develop or intensify a residential or even commercial area. It comes down to what facilities or amenities are available for those residents, employers or shoppers.

 

Back to the real world simulators such as Cities Skylines look at:

The use of simulation games such as Sim City 4 in the USA and Cities Skylines in the EU has thrown up the question on their value to give input into urban planning. With Cities Skylines – How Cities: Skylines is being used to build a real-life city district was trialled with interesting results (see: http://www.pcgamer.com/how-cities-skylines-is-being-used-to-build-a-real-life-city-district/ ). The premise of Cities Skylines is around a few universal rules such a Government provided public amenities and infrastructure with urban development set around a basic framework of loosely defined zones. The urban environment adapts and evolves within the interactions and rules of the public amenities and the zones.

 

It seems a simulator has quite a bit to offer planners and elected representatives in how residential and commercial demand is driven within a City.

 

The new residential area developing. Notice I did Phil Goff’s million trees program too. Those trees act as amenity as they are a comfort to the new residents. So never forget your trees!

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Finally a drive through of my latest residential area:

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San Solarian City Continues to Evolve

New port extensions and new development on the other side of the river

 

With San Solarian City going past 100,000 the city enters the Mature phase of an establish city that continues to evolve.

While I sort out the mess that is the rail system the City itself continues to evolve with new developments east of the Solarian River and one of the two ports relocating themselves into a new piece reclaimed land.

 

Here is where San Solarian City current is as of today:

 

Hopefully when the new Mass Transit DLC is out better optimisation with transport interchanges will give transit a good boost thus congestion bust some of the choke points in the City.

More drive-through pictures in the next post.

 

Development Continues in San Solaria

Cost of Infrastructure pops up

 

Game time with Cities Skylines is reduced at the moment as I await the Mass Transit DLC to come out later this year. Given the new DLC will have very large changes to the transport system in the game I am holding back large-scale developments in both Layton City and San Solaria unless I want to do be doing very expensive and time-consuming retrofitting.

 

None-the-less I booted the game up recently and continued some minor expansions to San Solaria City. So new low density residential developments were placed down in the west while the foundations for a new high density satellite city development were laid down on the other side of the San Solaria River. More importantly however, the main focus was on the transit system with a new tram line and new Metro (subway/LRT) line commissioned.

Other remedial measures were also implemented such as west-facing ramps along the main coastal motorway to allow trucks to access the port and its surrounding industrial complex. The new ramps meant freight traffic was not exiting nor entering the motorway from the eastern City Centre ramps and subsequently travelling through City Centre streets. I am still going to let the game run another week in-game time to see how the ramps go and if working out I will shrink main City Centre road back to four lanes from the current six lanes.

As I mentioned earlier a new Metro line opened allowing a east-west cross-city transit route between the two ends of the City. Currently San Solaria lacks a full cross-city transit service as the busses are mainly local feeders. At the same time the first cross-city tram service was opened up to the south of the City connecting Meadow District to Belmont. The Line will be extended to Cozy Clifftops and connect to the City Centre tram system giving another access point to the City Centre and Airport.

 

Here are some pictures of the latest happenings:

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Sprawl Costs

If you notice the Budget you can see there is a deficit in there despite a population of 100,000 residents. Normally by the 100k mark the City starts turning over surpluses. So why the persistent deficits? Sprawl.

Layton City is mainly a high density compact city (with two satellites) with an intricate transit system serving it. As the City is compact I am not having to sprawl out expensive infrastructure to serve far-flung residents and businesses. In San Solaria the city tends to more low density sprawl apart from the City Centre and Belmont. The product? It is expensive to serve the sprawl with Metro lines to connect it to the main employment Centres.

Now I can slash the $45,000 heavy rail expense line to claw back the $35,000 deficit in the main budget but given the heavy rail system moves the bulk of freight and inter-city passengers it will be ill-considered unless I want to back the roads up again.

The alternative is to get some density going which is what the new Satellite development will be doing creating a twins city effect.

So yes it does folks, sprawl costs in both budget lines and congestion.