In the week that United Nations scientists declared we need to immediately make massive changes to society to avoid catastrophic climate change, Paradox have announced a new Cities: Skylines expansion focused on the smoke and thunder of industry. I suppose that's a dose of grim reality to counterbalance the utopian optimism of the game's earlier Green Cities expansion. And, Paradox say, Industries will be good for folks who want more city-management decisions in the largely easy-going and pleasant city-builder.
"With this expansion, players can make more meaningful choices in their cities' industry by managing their production chains from grain to bread," Paradox product manager Sandra Neudinger said in today's announcement. This blurb gives an overview:
"Players can build unique factories and customise their industrial areas with supply chains for the four different resource types. Well managed industry areas will level up and become more efficient. Aside from production chains, there is a new city service for handling mail and the cargo airport eases import and export of factory goods. There are FIVE new maps, new policies, new city services, new buildings (including resource extractors, manufacturers, warehouses and unique factories) and more."
See the store page for more details. Industries will launch on October 23rd.
As is customary for strategy games published by Paradox, Industries be accompanied by a free update adding new things for all players. Along with a new radio station with 16 new songs, the update is due to "introduce toll booths (and road tolls, naturally), which will slow traffic's roll a bit, but generate extra income for the city. Players will also get the option to mark zoned buildings as historical, preserving their style, and the ability to create custom name lists for citizens, districts and spawned buildings."
I do wonder how this new industry options will interact with 2017's Green Cities expansion. Fraser Brown said there was "something endearingly optimistic" about it after he played Green Cities. "It posits a world where politicians and lobbyists don't create countless roadblocks, and where dependency on fossil fuels has become a refuted myth." Ha ha ha.
Well, here comes the murk and profit of industry to bring that dream down to present-day reality. But hey, it's something we need to accept, understand, and contend with if we're to get past it. Soon. Very soon. Skylines isn't complex enough to model the global consequences of industry but perhaps developers Colossal Order can shrink some of that down to its local scale to illustrate the challenges and consequences.