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A Cities Skylines Succession Diary: The End

How not to kill a city

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Sorry for the delay on concluding this – one person got behind, then we had a domino effect where everyone else was off-schedule, then we got distracted by a bumblebee and… Here it is, though: the final part of the Cities: Skyline succession game I’ve been playing with Jonathan Shipley and Dan Corns, in which we pass our savefile onto the next person whenever our shared city levels up. In this last part: so much death, and yet not enough.

Day 10: The Legacy

Jonathan: The life of a mayor is a strange one. We begin, as presumably do all who occupy a new position of public service, full of enthusiasm for the challenges we face and powered by optimism. We mean well, and sometimes we even do well, in parts – the odd successfully designed bus system here, the odd spike in public happiness traced back to the placement of a simple park there. Sometimes, when we make mistakes, the way we recover is proof of our imagination and fortitude: like when I accidentally killed 1600 people but cheerfully repopulated the town with a bunch of new, healthy and – frankly – better people.

In the end, however, it’s all about legacy. Just ask Blair. I knew this turn would be my last and, to be honest, I just wanted to leave something behind. Something beautiful. Something which would earn me praise, and make people think I was the best.

So I laid down my obsession with the efficiency of our public transport system and relaxed about the water pollution, which was by now measurable only in homeopathic quantities in any case. And I began, with one eye on the clock, to plant trees, build paths, and bring a bit of joy, a bit of spiritual love, to the venal, undereducated cretins who I was in any case getting bored of exercising my Mayoral duties in the service of.

And thus I finished my turn. I looked at the city and it was green. It was green and it was good. It had stopped growing, yes, and my manic obsession with roundabouts had driven its citizens to a state of constant dizziness, but I was happy. I was the best mayor. The best of ALL the mayors.

I pushed aside the wine bottles, lay down on the carpet and finally I slept.

Day 11: New Danland

Dan: Let’s face it. This city only grows with me at the helm. In just one go I turned around a desert island from backwater half off the map to thriving export centred, job creating Manhattan.

Except it didn’t turn out quite that way.

I did manage to build over an entire island in one go, (finding out in the process you could also build on sand, and that this affected the type of building that would appear) but built too quickly and became Mr Macro again to Jonathan’s Mr Micro.

There was no real attention to detail as I inherited a large demand for Industrial zones, and so I hit upon the idea of outsourcing all the unsightly industrial mess to one off shore island and keeping the main city (looking lovely and working well) to its manicured, tree-lined streets of commercial and residential properties.

However I don’t think the game really works that way. First of all, it’s all about scale. I also have a private saved game with a city about 5 times the size of this shared map, and so such a demand for Industry in that game would necessitate the turning over of an entire map square to feed the demand.

Our city being smaller, and with demand for industry being in proportion to this, turning over an entire island was overkill, as I soon discovered. A few estates and demand was met and located a long way from the rest of the city. Residential and Commercial demand crept up, and so I relented and quickly filled in the gaps had created with these.

I built two bridges from the mainland (one rail, one road) to service the island. The rail connected easily to our existing network (weaving through the city, thanks to a certain mayor’s forethought) and I built two accompanying stations on the island – one for freight and one for passengers.

The roads were, admittedly, more of a slapdash affair. Not in keeping with the carefully thought out layouts in the main city.

I wanted a quick, vast, out-sourced industrial estate covering the whole island but ended up with a messy compromise. My attempts at gentrification were halted because apparently we reached the maximum number of trees on the map – see the forests surrounding the railways.

In short: Cash up! Exports way up! Traffic eased! City not blighted by more industry (apart from the new parts, but maybe we can phase that out).

On page two: All things must pass. By force, if necessary.

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Alec Meer


Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

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