A look at Planning, Cities Skylines and how via Mixed Reality I work with both (in game play)
I have started a series via Twitch which will be uploaded to my YouTube channel on Planning with Cities Skylines. It is a six-part series look at the more advanced mechanics of Transport Planning in the game as well as my playthrough style.
I will be uploading both the raw and edited versions to YouTube for you consumption, as well as sharing it here with any further commentary on this blog.
A rundown on the series:
Part 1 of 6: The Overview The first of a series of Live Tutorials and AMAs on all things Planning, and Planning with Cities Skylines. Mods are in use including Real Time, Transport Manager: Presidents Edition, and Transport Lines Manager.
Part 1: Overview
Part 2: Buses and Trams Part
3: Metro, Heavy and Mono Rail
Part 4: Freight and Roads
Part 5: Active Modes and Hubs
Part 6: New City
Part 1: The Overview
Part Two I look at buses and trams (aka Light Rail)
It is known that I like spending a lot of my Cities Skylines time in First Person Mode. Why? I like to see from Helicopter or ground level how my cities look and feel, as well as finding any problems like jammed buses or intersections (derp).
Thus, we have another video of this time Postman Pat from the Port at one side of the map, to their homebase in Papakura on the other side of the map.
Here we are with Postman Pat:
One of the benefits of watching a cross-city trip is it shows where the hotspots are in the transport network most effectively (as does the traffic flow metre). Although the scenery is another reason as well.
But in the meantime, Postman Pat, Postman Pat, Postman Pat and his black and white cat…..
All mods well all but one work, dabbling in first airport build
So the Airport DLC was released earlier in the week and yes I decided to get it. Ironically Neo South Auckland had land set aside for such an airport before the DLC came out. What was not known is the dynamics needed for a new modular airport that can be built from the DLC.
In any case owing to map limitations and the existing city I was limited to a small-scale international airport complete with a museum, and cargo terminal.
Apologies for the washout, South Pacific internet, and OBS were having a moment. I will get higher resolution media later on when no streaming.
As we can see I built a single runway (most of my contemporaries were going for more complex multi runway airports) with the following:
Classic Terminal set was used rather than modern or ultra-modern sets
The 345kv and 230kv transmission lines at the eastern end sent underground so as not to conflict with the approach to the runway
Transit consists of metro, bus and trams. Helicopter services also retained as well!
Single Runway, dual taxiway in east-west direction (set by Real Time Mod)
3 Large Gates, 4 medium gates and 4 small gates. There is apron parking for another 6 gates if need be. Two airline lounges also provided
3 cargo gates at the west end
Hotels and Airline HQ provided
Road access to intercity motorway, and the City Centre
It did take about four attempts to get the terminal placement right.
Of course, more to do as the front of the terminal is a bit sparse and the old tram stop is now redundant. But then again when building a new airport, urban renewal was always going to occur.
The DLC is good fun although I am aware of game performance issues caused by the Taxiways.
One of the more unusual ways to go, or I need to update an expressway?
I decided to follow a random car from the airport to where their destination inside Neo South Auckland. Where did they end up? The other side of the City, well nearly as they headed to the Aviation Club.
The scenic trip was nice though I will give them that!
As the title and heading says; why get stuck in traffic when you can take a helicopter from A to B to C and back again. Let’s go travelling like the elite do across Neo South Auckland!
GET TO DA CHOPPA!
With the new Airport DLC coming out at the end of the month I will have to see how helicopters are dealt with at the new modular airport as currently it is only the Metropolitan Airport that handles them (apart from the stand alone helicopter stops).
Why sit in a car when I can take transit to go places
Why should I sit in traffic being the traffic when I can take reliable transit from A to B to C and back again quick and cheaply? The answer is I would not. This is why in my Mixed Reality cities built in Cities Skylines there are extensive transit systems following a strict hierarchy. A strict hierarchy as each mode has its optimal efficiency point before diseconomies of scale kick on from inefficiencies.
In Part Two of Touring Neo South Auckland we jump on some more transit to tour the City
Yes the City Centre is mainly car free apart from the main arterial roads taking people and goods in and out of the City Centre area.
Dropping down to First Person Mode to ride the transit system
One thing I think I like to pride myself on in my 6 years building Mixed Reality cities in Cities Skylines is the diverse and comprehensive transit systems that support the spatial form of any given city.
From first house going in to fully mature large cities the transit system is always there for residents and businesses bot new and established alike. Even with the Rush Hour mod that simulates the 24 hour day including weekends, events, rush hours, and even shift working congestion is more localised than say wide spread as would be seen in the IRL Auckland.
But enough from me. Let’s take our first tour of the city using just the transit system.
Part Two we continue with Neo South Auckland having various transit modes from Bus Rapid Transit, metro rail, trams and even helicopters.
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.