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Author Topic: Cities: Skylines  (Read 6865 times)

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Offline jamespetts gb

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Cities: Skylines
« on: March 14, 2015, 01:20:39 PM »
I am a little surprised that nobody has mentioned this so far: a new city builder by Colossal Order (the people behind Cities in Motion) has just been released. It has generally received favourable reviews, the gist of which have been that it is what the 2013 edition of SimCity ought to have been (having a large map area available, being playable in single player mode and being moddable). It has proved to be very popular.

I bought it via steam when it was released, and have been having fun with it. It is quite good: there are no glaring failures, although some issues from Cities in Motion 2, on which some of the code is evidently based, remain, such as the inefficient lane discipline of road vehicles, which makes traffic management difficult. One does get the feeling of a lack of economic depth in some respects (especially from a Simutrans player/developer's perspective: there is not a full simulation of everybody going to work, so the transport quality from homes to workplaces does not determine whether people will be able to find jobs and businesses able to find employees), but it is quite enjoyable all the same.

From a techincal perspective, one of the interesting things is that the developers, who are quite interactive with the game's burgeoning community, have explicitly stated that they have used a mixture of agent modelling and statistical modelling to allow for larger maps (their aim, which apparently they have succeeded in realising, is to allow simulation of cities with 1,000,000 inhabitants). People may remember that SimCity (2013 ed.) used the "Glass Box" engine, which used only agent modelling, and the map size restriction was almost certainly a result of this, as agent modelling for everything in a large city would have been far too computationally intensive to produce a viable playing experience. This is somewhat vindicative of the Simutrans and Simutrans-Experimental approach of using a mix of statistical modelling and agent modelling to allow for very large maps with many cities (albeit with each city simulated in less detail than in a dedicated city builder game).

I should be interested in the views of anyone else who has tried this game.

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall us

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Re: Cities: Skylines
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2015, 03:22:36 PM »
I can't run it, so I had no reason to post about it. :)

I've been following the subreddit for it and seeing all the pictures and I'm jealous. :)

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Cities: Skylines
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2015, 03:41:01 PM »
Oh that is rather a shame. Still, there's always Simutrans...

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall us

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Re: Cities: Skylines
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2015, 07:02:29 PM »
Yes, but nobody will program features to make it replace SimCity! hehehe

(seriously, I am only kidding <3 )

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Cities: Skylines
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2015, 09:46:38 PM »
Interesting!  I have completely missed this one and fully intend to check it out... thanks!  I played SimCity 2013 for about 2 days before I gave up on it and haven't gone back to it since.  The small map size was an instant turn-off for me.  So many items can be statistically modelled with pretty good precision -- save the agent modelling for those things that really could use the detail/accuracy and matter to gameplay.

Offline isidoro

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Re: Cities: Skylines
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2015, 02:43:22 AM »
I've also ordered the game in advance and have played it since it was released.  I'm not very fond of city builder games myself, since I don't specially like the management/political part of them.

But up to now, I have played for some time this one.  In my opinion, ST lacks some of the features of a city builder like this to have a complete coherent and sound simulation (apart from 3D graphics), but state-of-the-art city builders lack precisely the other side of the coin: good transportation and transport infrastructure simulation.  For instance, in Cities:skylines, what's the point of bus or other public transportation lines if the coverage of schools, police stations, etc. is fixed.  I'd say that a good transportation network would make a school with free capacity to reach to further population, wouldn't it?

Apart from that, the lack of autosave feature is an unforgivable mistake for a commercial game.

Incidentally, I'd dare ask what's the agent part of ST?


Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Cities: Skylines
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2015, 12:27:01 PM »
Autosave is available by means of a mod, which actually works quite well.

The agent part of Simutrans are the vehicles, convoys and individual loads (passengers, mail and goods). In theory, these could be modelled statistically, too (think of the railways and roads in the early Sim City games), but the game would be far less fun if they were.

Offline isidoro

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Re: Cities: Skylines
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2015, 01:15:02 AM »
I have played some more time and the game is absorbing...  I like the resources part, where you are forced to design networks forced by external circumstances (the availability of a resource type, for instance).

I didn't know about that autosave mod, thanks.

The concept of an agent is so diffuse...  I would expect an agent to interact more with the surroundings and have a longer lifetime that packets in ST.  You could have a certain person, wanting to travel somewhere because of something, and then doing some other thing... so that you could follow it on the map.  In ST, packets pop more or less at random, don't they?


Offline sdog

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Re: Cities: Skylines
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2015, 06:47:10 AM »
The devs released a Linux version from the start, and most importantly, they bought a chocolate fountain (!) from the first profits selling the game.

This makes it rather hard for me not to buy it. (i can postpone it a bit though)

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Cities: Skylines
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2015, 11:11:35 AM »
Yes, you are right that the concept of an agent is somewhat non-specific, and our agents are non-enduring and therefore only partly agents and partly statistical models, although I think that that system actually works quite well within the parameters of Simutrans, and allows us to have enormous maps with huge numbers of towns for the same processing power as Cities: Skylines consumes for a single, large city.

I also agree with Sdog about Linux and the chocolate fountain.

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall us

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Re: Cities: Skylines
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2015, 08:30:51 AM »
Cites: Skylines: Unperpendicular Realism: https://gfycat.com/DarlingGaseousBird

hehe. I'm sure things like this will eventually be caught and fixed, but they're hilarious in the meantime. :)

Offline Ters

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Re: Cities: Skylines
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2015, 03:58:40 PM »
Cites: Skylines: Unperpendicular Realism: https://gfycat.com/DarlingGaseousBird

hehe. I'm sure things like this will eventually be caught and fixed, but they're hilarious in the meantime. :)

There are similar glitches (both bugs and not) in Simutrans that has been around for as long as I remember. They don't happen by themselves, though. Nor do they look as spectacular, since it isn't 3D, nor does it happen as gradually (or heal gradually in some of the cases).

Offline benjad

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Re: Cities: Skylines
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2015, 11:36:34 PM »
About 32 hours in now  (thanks steam!). 

It is more city builder, where ST is a transport builder.

It is a 90% done game in my book, and I wish they would finish it to really make it shine. 

It needs some better 'sumation' tools to understand what problems you need to fix.  It gives you a 'overall happieness' of different zones, but then doesn't break those numbers down.   Some of the 'color coding' on maps is 'too wide' to be appreciably useful.

But overall, I am very impressed.  If the transport part had more added to it, I believe it would be a benefit.  Too much of that is done automatically for my tastes.


Offline Sarlock

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Re: Cities: Skylines
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2015, 05:25:32 AM »
About 20 hours in now... very impressed, it has a lot of potential.  If the speed at which the modding community is creating objects is any indication, this game has some good potential.  There's a few things to still work out, obviously, but nothing that can't be addressed in the coming weeks/months.

If this game does well, hopefully it will open the door to enhancements in the future.  It's very impressive already, and could have a lot added to really make it amazing.

Offline Junna

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Re: Cities: Skylines
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2015, 08:04:57 AM »
238 hours in...

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Cities: Skylines
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2015, 10:20:24 PM »
From a transport perspective, the trains are somewhat of a disappointment, although the roads seem quite good (with a few exceptions, such as lane behaviour). This seems to be the normal way with city builders.

Offline isidoro

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Re: Cities: Skylines
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2015, 11:20:11 PM »
The transport system inherits from the previous "Cities in Motion" series.  The railway system is a reimplementation of metro system in CiM, with all of its problems and deficiencies.  Even ships have the same bugs of CiM!  Just wait enough looking at a port in a river and you'll see two boats approaching near each other.  When the first reaches port and the second is waiting, they entangle so that neither can move!  The solution given by the programmers is very disappointing.  The first one just vanishes after some time...

I like the road system too.  You can do almost everything quite easily.  When the new tunnels arrive, it will be even more perfect.  With the help of a mod, you can, for every crossroads, decide which lanes can turn to which other, the timing of the traffic lights, etc.  It's a pity I lost the link and can't put it here...

Edit: eventually, I found the link: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=427585724

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Cities: Skylines
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2015, 10:00:23 AM »
That mod looks intriguing!