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!
A concept I developed in Cities Skylines that I advocate for out in the real world is the Urban Islands. Urban Islands are where transport infrastructure, water or Green Belts break up the urban mass of a City giving an island effect. However, for Urban Islands to be Urban Islands one little feature needs to happen first – and that I explain in my first video here:
In Part Two I zoom into the new Trade School then take a tour on a couple of the buses:
If you would like to know more about Urban Islands and other Urban Geography concepts I study and advocate for (including dual core cities) give me a yell in the comments below.
In the mean time Shop Safe!
I realise in Part Two the Cities Skylines video was rather loud. I will make sure the volume is down on the next stream.
The initial tests have been done and the scripts are being written to keep the streams into 10 minute portions (for now). It is time to get the weekly Ben’s Cities(Skylines) Stream on the road (so to say) and out the door ready to be served every Monday.
The Ben’s Cities(Skylines) Stream
These streams will be starting off as short often two part streams commentating on all things urban simulation and urban geography using Cities Skylines as communication tool. From urban planning to urban development and onward to First Person mode (what the citizen sees) and Lane Mathematics this will both be causal but also formal as the game is used for downtime and urban geographic purposes.
Today I give a very brief overview of the game, the layout and the mods I use. From next Monday I will do both urban development and drop down to first person view so you see the world from a Cim’s perspective. At the moment both Manukau, and Grand Manukau/Layton Cities will be used in the streams. One is an older mature city the other one I recently started.
As always don’t forget to subscribe, like, share and leave a comment below. \