Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Self-Indulgence

This post contains 100% of it.
All Cities XL 2011. Pure, concentrated, but pulp free. No sodium added. Well, maybe just a little.

So on my days off(and my days on), I've been playing Cities XL 2011 nonstop. I've lost sleeping hours to this beast. I haven't had this much fun with a sim game since Tropico 3 or when Open For Business came out for the Sims. The Sims 2 really needs an Open For Business expansion pack. Anyway, Cities 2011 has been the focus of my attention ever since I got it a few weeks ago.

Now a lot of people say "oh, that's just like Simcity." In essence, they are correct. But in actual play, they are oh so wrong. In the beginning stages when your city is a new town on the world map, its small and there's not much to do. So it's like Simcity at this point because you don't have access to the higher level structures and things. But  your city grows and you unlock more stuff, everything becomes more complex.


There's my city, which is extremely messy in terms of urban planning. When I started, I basically centered the entire city on one main road. This turned right around and bit me as traffic clogged main street because it was the only way for my citizens to get to work. Eventually, I expanded Main Street into what is now Central Avenue. With the addition of bus stops, you get to manage bus routes that will reduce traffic as long as you know what you're doing.


That's what traffic looks like, with red being the most congested. Although I managed to finally keep the flow of cars steady on Central Avenue, now my southbound avenue is experiencing massive gridlocks. That is mostly due to my new southern development for my money-making industrial sector. I tried to place my industries are far away from my cities as possible so their dirty, stink pollution wouldn't affect my citizens. But that just made it harder for my citizens to work there. So in the end, the most heavily populated areas are right across the street from the smoke stack factories.


And this is the map layer that shows how I'm profiting off the poor denizens of my city. The light brown areas are where my poor, huddled masses congregate. They are also the only ones who currently live jam packed and sardined into high rises(because I haven't unlocked high density residential for any other class yet). 
The blue areas are where my blue collars live a comfortable existence. Most of them work in my Downtown, where every building is an office. Downtown happens to be that large green area kind of in the center.
The light blue areas are where my white collar executives reside in their spacious estates. They mainly work in the offices as the blue collars' overlords, but can sometimes be found slave-driving the average Joe working in the factories. The two industrial parks are the two green zones to the west and south. Somewhere off the map to the south is the horrendous waste of space that is required to bury all my people's waste. Yay for landfills.
Surprisingly, my city is rather green. Much of my electricity comes from wind turbines. There's also a huge sprawl of farmland north of city, which I rack in a huge profit by trading food to other cities. That was until my taxpayers decided they need more to munch on and started to consume all of it at an alarming rate.


You can kind of see the wind farm in the background of this rather empty industrial street. What I actually wanted to point out was all the people standing around and waiting for the bus to show up. It'll never come on time, silly bus-goers.


Where did all my buses go? The absence of mass transit really ruined the first Cities XL. But it is present and awesome in Cities 2011. I fiddled around with bus routes for hours trying to reduce traffic and reach a good efficiency for my buses to run around in gigantic circles throughout my concrete jungle. Along with road expansions, buses helped tame the traffic beast. What I found most hilarious in my city was that there was heavy traffic on my farm roads. What the heck are my citizens doing out there? Cow tipping? Is that my city's favorite hang out spot? Next to the cows? I need to build a stadium or something.


Behind the cars and through the palm tree(because I have to have palm trees in my cities), you can catch a glimpse of my city hall. Everything must be connected by road to this government building, and without it the city cannot and will not function. And speaking of optimal performance, this game runs really well compared to the first Cities. And also on functioning, it is really easy to maintain a positive budget on Cities 2011, unlike Simcity. In Simcity, your main and basically only form of income was the tax you reaped from your residents and businesses. Although that remains in Cities, your true main source of income is through the trade economy that you can develop with other cities.
I already mentioned how I was trading all my excess crops away for big bucks. But soon enough, my population grew along with their hunger. Seeing how I couldn't export all my munchies, I needed to find a new resource to trade away. For a little while, I traded away office services, becoming the India to the other cities' USA. But that too was required at home as I expanded my industries that required the oversight and logistics of my office lackeys. I kept an eye out on my offices right across the street from City Hall. When it was just a small town, a tiny retail store was in the place of that office building. Ah, how time changes things.


In the end, I chose to focus on manufacturing, which requires lots of heavy industries and offices to support its infrastructure. The profits from manufacturing are bringing in more money than my corn stocks could ever outperform. And thanks to that, my city's budget remains extravagantly rich and filled with gold bullions. At least, that's what I like to tell myself.
I really enjoyed watching my small town grow into the giant urban sprawl that it is now. At first, there were no medical services, police, fire department, or even a city water system. But as time went on, I added a clinic, a sheriff's department, a fire station, and all sorts of other neat little things. As the city got wider and taller, these basic government services unlocked larger structures capable of handling more people and a larger effective range. So the clinic became a medical center, then a hospital. The sheriff's department found a new police station down the street, and so on. I don't talk about education, because unfortunately there are areas where the students are as dumb as rocks because there are no schools. I'll get to that eventually. Until then, enjoy this nice daytime/nightime montage.


Morning!


Good Afternoon!


Evenin'!


And good night!
There are so many things to talk about when it comes to this game, but I think I'll stop now. I will probably talk about it more in the future anyway, I haven't even gotten highways, airports, and superstructures yet. It's time for me to put in my two cents and go vote. If you live in the States, you should go out and vote too.

2 comments:

  1. Republicans won...o_o Wow...We've been following the mid-term elections here, which according to a recent and very informal poll in Toronto, only 34% of us were interested in these elections. The rest don't care I guess.

    Anyway, goodness, you're obsessed with this uhh, city game! But I can see its appeal, hmm...So amazing creating something from scratch.

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  2. Go Red Staters!
    As for the amount of people that care, its horribly low. Considering that a democracy works on how many people that care, this is a bad trend. But then again, I guess it really doesn't matter how wins in the States for someone who lives in Canada.

    And obsessed is an understatement. This game has practically engulfed the entire being of my soul.

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