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)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!