Why Cities: Skylines has become the new darling of the city-building genre

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I like this game quite a bit, however it still suffers form the same problem as most of the genre, it is not so much figuring out how to plan a perfect city, rather it is about figuring out how the DEVELOPERS think a perfect city would work and doing that.


Well I suppose it beats SimCity, but since 2013 that hasn’t been hard to do.


I’d like this game much more if I could play it on my 2015 MacBook Pro. Alas few game developers appear to target the Intel integrated graphics chipset. SimCity 4 seems to be the last bastion of city building for most of us Mac users.

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It’s certainly open to interpretations, and this particular book is rich enough to allow a multitude. This book is usually alluded in the context of imagining cities, or the possibilities of cities, or possible concepts of how to think about cities yada yada yada, but I think that’s a bit of a mistake- I’m not sure the actual reports have much to say to us about how we think about our cities on a conceptual level. Regardless of Calvino’s intentions, I think the book is primarily about epistemology. Despite the rich poetry, the possibility is always present that Kublai Khan and Polo are not understanding each other at all. Polo is like our senses- reporting back to our consciousness in a language and manner we can do our best to interpret but in constant doubt about how much we truly understand. Just my 2 cent interpretation.

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Unfortunately, Intel IGPs are pretty tepid to begin with, and Apple is not notoriously aggressive in pushing the limits on GPU drivers. Combine that with the fact that any game originally targeted at DirectX is probably going to be laboring under an abstraction layer and you have a fairly lousy situation.

On the Windows side, Intel graphics are considered the ‘try to remain playable, even if ugly’ target for any game that doesn’t want to restrict itself to the fairly serious; but they are treated as a bare minimum, so any performance losses suffered by the mac port make Intel support pretty much hopeless.

That is true; but how else could a simulation work? the idea that you can ‘plan a perfect city’ implies a reality one can appeal to for how the bits of a city interact and fit together.

In a simulation, there is no reality beyond the parameters supplied by the creator of the simulation, so the outcome of your optimization is in their hands. I imagine that some are more heavy handed about going back and fudging the constants if the result ‘isn’t right’; while others are more willing to accept unexpected emergent behavior as a final result; but both cases are marching down the same determined path, whether or not the devs decided to fully explore it during testing and refinement.

It’s also worth noting that Cities got this better than most at the start. The company’s background is designing realistic-as-possible traffic simulations to help with city planning, and they used that tech to handle their traffic.

People then complained that it was too hard and they had to make it easier.

Also mods are available if you think the base design is lacking.

Awesome. I’ve been playing since the original Sim City and as I’ve gotten older (I was a kid when that first one came out), I’ve wanted to build more realistic cities. Sim City 4 had busted traffic without installing some mods. The Cities XL series was better. But Skylines seems to be getting so much praise that I can’t wait to play it.

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