Cities: Skylines. Why I’m Not Playing SimCity.
This post will be about Cities: Skylines, my new favourite city builder. First, I’m going to take the opportunity to whine a little about SimCity and EA. I was a huge fan of SimCity 4. Even a decade after it was released, I was happily tolerating the random crashes, lagging and all its other quirks to build up my cities.
You can imagine how excited I was for SimCity 5, or SimCity as they ended up calling it. Excited right up until they released it.
If there’s anything you can depend on EA for, it’s missing the point in their blind pursuit of cash. SimCity 4 lasted for so long because the community kept it alive. The last I checked there were about four sites dedicated to providing mods for the game. Not just a few mods, either. Thousands upon thousands.
There are people today still playing the original Quake because of mods. Quake! That’s from, what, 1996? The game thrives because the community invests its time into it.
EA, however, didn’t care about the community because it cannot monetise other people’s creations. It sought complete control so any extras for SimCity could be sold as DLC. EA doesn’t even understand DLC at times, and I might cover that in another post.
Of course, SimCity is old now. Much has been written and said about it’s paltry city sizes, so I won’t witter on further with my complaints. Not today, anyway.
Anyway, on to Cities: Skylines!
Take Note, EA!
Cities: Skylines does have some DLC but the makers clearly cottoned on to the idea of community support. Through the Steam Workshop you can pretty much change everything! Remember how people complained that SimCity restricted you to a tiny area? Cities: Skylines allows you to download a mod, unlock up to 25 already sizeable tiles and build a sprawling metropolis! Woohoo!
It’s not exactly a new game but having previously been put off non-Maxis city builders by the clunky, bug-riddled mess that was Cities XL, I figure maybe others might be wary like I was.
It’s not perfect. There’s some features that I could do without – like deaths. People die, and you end up having crematoriums or cemeteries everywhere! Oddly, people actually like living next to these! Bit creepy, that. Traffic management can be a bit difficult too. Your little people will prioritise high capacity roads, even if they all end up using the same lane on a six lane road and slowing themselves down. There’s mods to try and fix this but they’re a bit hit and miss.
For now, however, here’s a few pictures of my current work-in-progress. Below was the first area I built. It’s a small, contained, mostly residential area providing workers for the industrial area on the hilltop. I’ve called it Bethridge. As you can tell, there is an avenue functioning as a ring road lined with small shops and the residences are contained inside. If you lived in Bethridge, you’d probably find this place a little on the dull side. You would also probably suffer with breathing difficulties due to all the crap in the air from the industrial district. You’ve got a selection of large shops, so you can spend your misery away, I guess.
At the current direct opposite edge (although with room to expand) is the sprawling residential district, Corwood. This area is intended to be slightly more affluent. Unlike Bethridge, Corwood has a decent amount of things to do with a sports district (see below), nightlife area and many more shops and restaurants to visit. It’s also connected to the railway and subway networks, which makes it slightly easier to leave. Unfortunately, I imagine if you live in the centre of Corwood, your morning commute is probably going to take several hours.
In this night shot, you can see the tennis courts next to the athletics centre in Corwood. Great news for people who live in southern Corwood, or attend the university. If you live in northern Corwood you can get the subway down there. If you live in central Corwood, yeah, enjoy your travels.
And here is the rain beating down on my leisure district, Carlsbury. This is my tourist trap, full of casinos, nightclubs, hotels and a few sleazier places. It’s popular with senior citizens. Unfortunately, despite banning the building of high-rises in this area, the building authorities are clearly open to accepting bribes. It’s not visible in this picture, but Carlsbury is the first area I’ve built with an airport. Because of the flagrant disregard for my stated building policies, there are skyscrapers on the flight path. It also seems there are trees lining the runway. The potential for a devastating plane disaster is high! In fact, Carlsbury Airport may be almost as dangerous as Sao Paolo; at least I wasn’t stupid enough to put a petrol station at the end of the runway.
That’ll do for now! I shall pop up some more pictures over time as my city expands. I also have some footage of taxis driving around my city picking up strange “cims” who think hailing a cab in the middle of a six-lane high capacity road is a good idea.