Cities: Skylines erects Green Cities expansion this year

If the recent launch of the Concerts “mini-expansion” for Cities: Skylines [official site] made you wish the city-builder would get something more substantial, good news! Paradox today announced the Green Cities expansion for release later this year. As you might expect, it will let you turn your cities all hippy-dippy with everything from organic shops to plant-clad buildings. It bungs in a load of new assets for these and more, which should be nice for making cities more varied. Have a peek in the trailer:

Paradox blast this blurb too:

“Cities: Skylines – Green Cities adds 350 new assets to the core game, adding a massive selection of new visual options, complete with eco-friendly buildings, organic stores, electric vehicles, and new services designed to make pollution a quaint notion of the past. Players can create more diversified cities, or go completely green as the urban population grows. New in-game services and buildings arrive alongside revisions to noise and environmental pollution, making the skies safer for Chirper at last.”

Green Cities will cost £9.99/12,99€/$12.99 when it launches some time later this year.

As is the Paradox way, a free update will launch alongside the expansion for everyone. Paradox say it “will include electric cars, road modding, changes to noise pollution, and more beautification options in the form of parks and trees, among other things.”

Our Adam was gassing with Paradox this morning in Germany so I assume he’ll have more to tell us at some point. Or a collection of currywurst-stained t-shirts and a banging hangover.

42 Comments

  1. Sound says:

    Awwauughh… And again, Colossal Order opts not to deepen the simulation. I have a feeling they simply never will. And I am very bummed about this.

    • Rituro says:

      As an example, what could CO add to “deepen the simulation” in a way you’re looking for?

      • Sound says:

        Revamp of the police/crime system, preferably from a lens of poverty instead of crime. Enhancement of the economic/logistics/jobs system. Revamp rural/small town zoning/gameplay, and make building for larger cities feel, look, and function tangibly different. Make budgeting choices a more clear and impactful matter of strategic-level choice, to represent something beyond just balancing the bottom line while checking as many boxes as you can. Deepen the link between public services how they impact the city’s people. Make the impact on your citizens more apparent. Craft decision points as a push-and-pull where there’s no perfect answer, but there are circumstantially superior tactics depending on your chosen strategy, where multiple strategies are possible. Maybe take some ideas from Positech’s Democracy series.

        I’d propose that most of these sorts of features could fall within a toggled ‘manager mode.’ It would act as replacement for the current hard mode, where the difficulty would reflect managerial/systemic complexity. The current “stuff costs more” paradigm is pointless and un-compelling for the sorts of players who’d be tempted to look toward higher difficulty. But having the option of a compelling ‘hard core’ simulation would serve that category of player pretty decently.

        Many people like C:S for what it is now, and I don’t want to spoil the game for them if they don’t want to futz with budgets and such. But for the other segment of players, the current trajectory is not meeting their needs for management challenge. As for me, right now the game feels more like painting buildings on the landscape, rather than taking on the mantle of a mayor tending to a needs of people, fostering the growth of a local society. Cities are people, not just buildings and roads.

        • Dogshevik says:

          Not that this doesn´t sound interesting, but for the moment I would settle for simpler things. Like intersections with sharp angles or a bulldozer option or two.

          A man can dream.

        • RED says:

          I proposed something very similar when CS was still a young game.

          “1. Advanced crime
          CS has working agent system. I would very much like to see the DLC where there are agent criminals spreading around your city and trying to cause mayhem. Arsonists, murderers, thief, kidnappers, muggers, terrorists, rioters etc. Against them stand police officers, highway patrols, police helicopter pilots, SWAT teams, riot police and so on. Justice systems with prisons and courts.
          Idea is that if our police network is too weak, crime will spread from low cost housing to rich neighborhoods, which will cause the exodus of our most educated citizens (not too mention business) and, most likely, bankruptcy. Imagine that revenue from taxes drops because mob managed to get a foothold in your city.
          Chasing stolen cars and criminals, making your traffic system work even though major streets are blocked by protesters or car crash, getting hostages back, manhunts for escapees – all of this would make for quite some depth, gameplay and stuff that matters ^^ Also city would look way more alive.

          2. Advanced agriculture
          As of now farming is looking pretty unrealistic. Everything is limited with 4v4 rule :(
          AdvAgri DLC would have to tackle this problem first to make sense. Would be nice to have there wide range of farms, from small ones (functioning as houses), where farmer sells his products on nearby market, to specialized highly efficient behemoths owned by evil corporations.

          There is whole variety of farms, from simple wheat farms to French vineyards. Irrigation by mobile machines or center pivot, lots of tech. Also the idea that mostly uneducated workers work the fields is a bit of obsolete.

          What could work against us? Diseases of plants and livestock. Countered by sanitary services. Droughts and floods? We would have to lend the money to farmers to help them recover. Market crash – intervention buying.”

          Two years later people still play game you cannot lose and they absolutely LOVE it. Or at least that’s the impression I get from CS facebook page. Harsh truth is it is a city painter, not a city simulation. It will never gonna be one. I mean, they introduced day-night cycle without game agents following day-night cycle, what can we really expect even if they wanted to simulate anything?

          • cpy says:

            We can only dream about better depth and simulation and realistic farm size.

        • syndrome says:

          I would like much better traffic control and road layout. I know that much of it is fixed/improved by mods, but still, that thing should be sorted out and bundled with the core game. If nothing, it appears to be the key selling feature.

        • dontnormally says:

          Hear hear!

          About the last thing I want to do is plop pretty assets by hand to make for a pretty screenshot. I’m here to manage a city.

    • ludde says:

      Looks like it unfortunately. It’s more set dressing.

      Then again, is it really meant to be a proper expansion at that price point?

      • Sound says:

        That’s a good point – there’s only so much that’s possible within a given scale of release. But on the other hand, if not now, then when? Is anything planned to make the ‘manager’ players happy? There’s been very little added to tend to this segment of players.

        • ludde says:

          I agree. The game desperately lacks depth. It needs something serious put in or it’s going to remain wasted potential.

          It’s strange that Colossal Order seem so unwilling, considering the game was a commercial success and there’s obviously demand for more.

          • hostilecrab says:

            I think the simple fact is that this is not the kind of game they want to make. Cities:Skylines is a lovely, relaxing, chilled out game which is almost impossible to lose if you play with even a modicum of skill. I’m pretty sure this is by design, and it’s obviously been a popular decision.
            It sucks for people who want a more intense and challenging experience, but i think if CO tried to please everyone they’d end up just diluting the vision and then nobody would be happy.

          • Herring says:

            hostilecrab’s comment applies equally to Planet Coaster too as there’s been no attempt to increase the challenge there either. And yet both are very popular games.

            Sometimes toys are fun too :)

    • poliovaccine says:

      Out of curiosity, I know there’s a very active mod community for this game, so is that stuff just beyond the capabilities of existing mod tools, or are most modders just choosing to make cosmetic/landmark type mods? I’m curious how much of the simulation-level stuff you wanna see could theoretically be done by modders.

      Partially I ask because, not knowing either way, I would imagine Paradox might base their notion of players’ demand for content at least roughly on the most popular things they choose to mod into the game. So if a lot of modders are making new buildings and other essentially cosmetic additions, they could hardly be blamed for failing to realize a deeper simulation is a high priority for all that many people… when in reality, that disparity could just be because it’s harder to mod that stuff.

      Like I say, I’m just asking out of ignorance, cus as much as I like Cities Skylines and have bought the Night and Mass Transit addons, once I start modding a game it’s just an addictive rabbithole to disappear down haha… never mind if I start actually *making* mods, ugh… sooo I’ve tried to remain deliberately in the dark about it – apologies if that makes my questions moot, hah.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Though I feel real life green city concepts really neat looking, I can’t help but feel like this doesn’t add much of value to the game, for me.

    The wording sorta implies it’s only for university educated, high-land-value cities, which I’m never in charge of.

    Much less interesting than, say, mass transit, or some of the other DLCs.

  3. Shmooboo says:

    More fluff. Most of the DLC is just one missed opportunity after another. At this point, they’re just begging for someone to swoop in and grab their audience, just like they did to SimCity.

  4. Synesthesia says:

    Starting to feel like they are overmilking that cow, specially after not fixing the traffic simulation. Hm.

    • Sound says:

      I’d argue the traffic simulation is the best part of the game, well crafted, understandable, and controllable.

      • Synesthesia says:

        Last time i played, cars didn’t know how to use lanes. Did they fix that?

        • ludde says:

          No, they still only use one lane.

        • ColonelFlanders says:

          I hate to be That Guy ™, If you can’t make the traffic simulation work for you, then you aren’t structuring your road network correctly. The traffic system is complex and sophisticated, and when the cars use only one lane, it’s because everyone is using the same intersection, or are heading in the same direction anyway. You need to plan how your zoning is laid out, and structure your roads hierarchically. There is a very real reason that actual town planners are using the simulation in this game to test potential road networks, and that is because it’s good yo.

          I would prefer to see improvements to the economics, agriculture, crime, logistics/supply chain, and have PUHROPER day/night passage, where Sims get out of bed, go to work/school, go shopping on weekends etc, and so on. There are mods that sort most of this, but I know CO could implement it better if they made the effort at it.

          • moke says:

            Seeing as one-lane-use is the rule rather than the exception, an in game tutorial would have been nice.

          • Synesthesia says:

            So what is it then? A deep traffic simulation that urban developers use for stress testing or a lovely, relaxing, chilled out game?

            I’ve seen the album explaining road development for the game, and while it’s fun to make a city that flows perfectly, some modicum of leeway for the way traffic chooses the way to its objective would be nice. At least spreading out when entering a freeway or a large avenue, that sort of stuff.

          • FriendlyFire says:

            To say that the traffic simulation in CSL is good is utterly laughable.

            The cars work in complete isolation: they take the shortest path assuming no traffic. The cars don’t react to traffic. The cars never change routes. The cars have no right of way, you can’t prioritize traffic along intersections to make main axes and feeder roads or to give priority to cars in a roundabout. Emergency vehicles do not get right of way and stop at red lights. Cars will despawn after a period because the traffic simulation would explode in most cities otherwise. Cars are allowed to spawn out of nowhere (commonly called the pocket car). Cars will change lanes by making a 90 degree turn, instantly stopping all cars in both lanes while this happens.

            If any city actually uses this game for traffic planning, I never want to go there because holy shit it’d be hell.

  5. pentraksil says:

    And the award for the most useless DLC announcements of the month goes to: Colossal Order!!!!

  6. LewdPenguin says:

    Hmm so a eco-centric expansion trailer, that they have a jetliner splashed across the final image of. Seems like there’s a little dissonance going on including, even if only visually, one of the most polluting methods of transport available when promoting something notionally focused on being low pollution and eco friendly.

    • AngoraFish says:

      Dude. Rich people consumption is perfectly environmentally friendly so long as they install a green roof on top of their penthouse apartment, recycle their plastics and buy only fair trade coffee.

      • Herring says:

        Dreamliners are electric so air-travel is perfectly environmentally friendly.

        • moke says:

          Just in case this isn’t a joke and Boeing are getting free, erroneous PR, Dreamliners run on hydrocarbon fuel like every other plane.

          • Herring says:

            Sorry, I really didn’t think I’d need to caveat that but I should really err on the side of caution what with Poe’s law and all :)

  7. Dogshevik says:

    People were so desperate for a serious, modern city-builder that C:S simply had to be that one game they all hoped for. Turns out it will probably never be that. Ironically the reason for that might well be its economic success.

    Colossal will milk C:S for what it is worth before anyone else hops on the “city builders are not dead” bandwagon. So, we get those full-priced workshop items disguised as regular DLCs.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      The cold hard truth is that CO can’t do what people want of them. They already painted themselves in a corner by using Unity, since there’s a point where even well-optimized C# is going to struggle simulating tens of thousands of individual agents, but even besides that I’m not sure they actually have the people they need to make it happen. Advanced agent simulation is not something you can throw down any random programmer and expect them to perform just fine, you need specialists.

  8. rustybroomhandle says:

    Such negative comments… perhaps you folks need a bit of the green?

    • Sound says:

      As in real life ecological concerns, the answers to problems require more substance, nuance, and difficult work. Catering to surface aesthetics, trends, hashtags and slogans just doesn’t go very far. Nor does this DLC.

    • Shmooboo says:

      Without a doubt. I’m all clogged up, keto has its drawbacks >.<

  9. Premium User Badge

    teije says:

    Lots of disappointment here that CS isn’t the crowning pinnacle of city sims people would like it be. Maybe we could try viewing it as a very enjoyable game, with some flaws and gaps, but not the Sim city killer.

    • Sandepande says:

      It should be rather obvious, at this point, that CO never intended to make a sim. At least not as much as those interested in more in-depth approach would appreciate.

      Somebody will come along and make such a thing, probably.

  10. Ejia says:

    It looks like people were so burned by SimCity 2013 that they pinned all their hopes on Cities: Skylines.

    Meanwhile I’m still playing SimCity 4 with the NAM and other mods, working on a giant region I probably won’t complete for real decades, if at all.

  11. Czrly says:

    One of these days, someone is going to come along with a City Simulation where the denizens of the hovel, the investment or closure of business and industry and the political motions of the ruling parties are governed by deep reinforcement learning and this purile but pretty game will simply cease to be.

    Any day now…

    • Premium User Badge

      Risingson says:

      You know, who could have told me that growing up would break gaming for me, but not in the way I expected. I cannot, for example, play any SimCity now and enjoy its mechanics when I remember the real life, the effects of touristification, and disasters in tower blocks that end up with so many lives.

    • Sandepande says:

      You know, that game and C:S can happily coexist.

      Or did CO use up all the funding meant for city management sims?