Welcome To Moonlight Fields

Moonlight Fields

Moonlight Fields is a city built on mostly flat terrain, with only slight changes in elevation. The area contains a few gentle rivers (not suitable for hydroelectric power) and a large lake.

There isn’t a lot of availability for renewable industry (farming and timber), so unfortunately, Moonlight Falls has to rely on oil, ore mining, and other dirty industries.

There is plenty of room for the city to grow. As the city expands, I’ve been careful to maintain green spaces and spacious public parks.

Labor Park

Labor Park

Public transport is built on a network of trams, taxis, monorails, trains, bicycle paths, and blimps. Moonlight Fields does not contain buses. (I thought I’d try something new with this city.) However, as the city gains more suburbs, a few bus lines may be added – or maybe commuter rail lines will do the job instead.

Transit Interchange

I love Cities: Skylines. It’s a beautiful game, with plenty of challenges and creativity. There are a few things that need improvement, though: the way ships spin around when leaving a dock instead of making a loop, the way cars crowd into one lane even when multiple lanes are available, and the way monorails make impossibly tight ninety-degree turns.

I can’t do anything about the ships, and mods like Traffic President can help with lane management. I can do something about the monorail tracks, though. In the city of Moonlight Fields, monorail tracks cut around intersections to avoid ninety-degree turns. This practice also creates green space.

Monorail Curve

Monorail Corner

There is an abundance of roundabouts in the city – which also creates green spaces.

Roundabouts

So far, there is only one tourism district and one leisure district in Moonlight Fields. They’re next to each other. Traffic became jammed in the area, so I built a tram line through both districts. The tram depot is right on the other side of the freeway, so I built a short tram-only bridge, over the freeway, just to connect the depot with the tram line.

The tourism/leisure tram line alleviated traffic somewhat. The unexpected benefit of the tram bridge is that huge crowds of citizens are using the bridge’s walkway to walk to the nightclubs and gaming centers rather than wait for the train. I certainly can’t blame them. (Maybe I should extend the tram line over the bridge, and give them a ride.)

Tram Bridge

Moonlight Fields in plagued with sinkholes. Geologists don’t know why.

Sinkhole

Don’t let the sinkholes (or the industrial pollution) scare you away from visiting lovely Moonlight Fields. There’s plenty to do and see here.

Stadium

The Surprising Neighborhoods Of Glenns Fjord

Glenns Fjord is expanding more than I had expected it to. As the population slowly increases, and I’m able to buy more squares of land, I’m finding more and more little areas suitable for building. Still, the terrain continues to be a challenge, and I’m enjoying that.

Glenns Fjord

The population of Glenns Fjord is currently around 23,000 citizens.

It even has a football stadium. When I started this city, I didn’t think it would have room for a stadium, but I found a suitable area with easy access to the freeway. Citizens can also get to the games by roadways, a pedestrian pathway, a bus line, and a blimp line. The Stadium neighborhood is working out quite nicely.

Stadium

One of the things I think is missing in Cities: Skylines is parking lots and garages. (Maybe that’s me thinking like an American.) So, I downloaded some lots from the Steam Workshop. (I love how friendly this game is to customization. That’s aimed at you, The Sims 4.) The parking lots work great – cars actually use them – they have the happiness bonus of a park, and they add some realism to commercial, business, and tourism districts, as well as transportation hubs and stadiums.

I don’t have a lot of custom content, actually. In addition to parking lots, I have a couple of filling stations, for that same sense of realism. I’ve subscribed to some custom buses, trams, and trains – for variety, and, it some cases, greater seating capacity. As for mods, I’ve subscribed to Traffic President (absolutely essential for forcing traffic to use all lanes), First Person Camera (not very beneficial, but fun for viewing your city up close), and Crossings (for adding mid-block crosswalks – another thing missing from Cities: Skylines).

Bus

Glenns Fjord’s newest neighborhood is named Seaview. It’s on the west side of the city. It’s a mixture of high density housing, offices, and a small leisure district. It’s home to the city’s Opera House and Grand Library. It’s surrounded by mountains on two sides, and water on the other two sides. Access to Seaview is from a tunnel road (with a tram line in it) through a mountain, a cable car over the mountain, and a ferry line along the river.

Seaview Entrance

I wrote earlier that a ferry line in Glenns Fjord seemed unlikely, but it now has a ferry line, and it’s very popular.

Seaview Ferry

One funny thing about Cities: Skylines is the scale of its buildings. Realistically, would a city of 23,000 have this many skyscrapers? (23,000 is the population of Bainbridge Island, Washington. I’ve been there, and I’ve never seen a building as tall as these.) Citizens must have huge apartments. Honestly, though, I don’t worry about it. It’s a game – a game where people fly to football matches in blimps.

Seaview Buildings

I love playing Cities: Skylines.

Ferry Sunset

Welcome To Glenns Fjord

My latest city is built on and around some rather mountainous terrain. It is requiring some engineering creativity. I’m trying to keep the terraforming to a minimum, and use the natural shape of the land. It may never become a megatropolis, and that’s OK.

As for mass transit, the city has cable cars and a tram line. A train line seems impossible, and I don’t know how I can fit in an airport. The deep fjords make  ferry lines unlikely.  Blimps are a possibility for future growth.

It’s a challenging city. Also, it rains a lot.

Welcome to Glenns Fjord.

Hilltop

Cable Cars

Twisty Highway

Sunset For Samson Valley

sunset

There comes a time in the life of any successful city I’ve created in Cities:Skylines when I realize it’s time to start creating a new city. Samson Valley has plenty of income, and no funding issues. It has plenty of room to grow. It survives disasters. I’ve spent a lot of time creating it. But when I consider expansion, it feels like simply filling in space.

sunrise

I’m now spending time tweaking intersections, upgrading streets here and there, aligning transit hubs – but not really changing much.

roundabout

international airport

north stadium hub

I spent time sitting back and enjoying the details of the city. I watch citizens go about their days – but not really playing an active role. I realize the city is completed.

quiet moment 1

quiet moment 2

quiet moment 3

It’s time to start a whole new city. I keep saying I’ll come back to revisit my old creation, but I never do.

Samson Valley Transit Route 7

SV Transit’s route 7, with its bright yellow buses, is a real workhorse. It serves a variety of districts and constantly runs full.

Route 7 starts at the Stadium Square Ferry Terminal, on the shore of Northwest Lake. The district of Stadium Square contains hotels and shopping, an active night life, and Samson Valley FC Stadium.

Route 7 01

As it makes it way south along Foggy Boulevard, route 7 stops at the always popular Samson Valley Aquarium.

Route 7 02

It is popular with the employees of the Disaster Relief Center, who keep the city safe.

Route 7 03

Route 7 crosses over the bridge into the factories of Browne Point, at the south shore of Northwest Lake.

Route 7 04

It serves the workers and industries of Browne Point.

Route 7 05

It crosses several bridges as it makes it way south through Browne Point.

Route 7 06

Route 7 07

Route 7 is a hit with the timber workers of Conifer Corner.

Route 7 08

From Conifer Corner, Route 7 enters the hotels and offices of Poplar Point. It makes its southernmost stop at the Eden Project, and near the Riverfront Square Expo Center. This stop is also close to a monorail station which takes people north to Juventus Stadium or south to the Space Elevator.

Route 7 09

Route 7 once stopped at the entrance to the Cruise Ship Harbor. However, that harbor was replaced with a new harbor on the opposite shore, at the new tourism center which includes the Space Elevator.

Route 7 10

Route 7 loops back north through Poplar Point, Riverfront Square, Conifer Corner, and Browne Point.

Route 7 11

Its northern route brings it though Samson Valley’s oldest neighborhoods, until returning to Stadium Square Ferry Terminal.

Route 7 12

 

 

Change And Destruction

The southernmost district of Poplar Point, where Samson Valley’s cruise ship harbor is located, expanded northward. I built a shiny new football stadium on the district’s northern border.

stadium

The ferry line which served the cruise ship harbor continued to have low ridership, with tourists preferring the overcrowded blimps to the typically empty ferry boats. Still, I kept the ferry line, and added a stop near the stadium. The harbor ferry terminal continued to have daily usage numbers in the single digits, even though it was next door to the cruise ship harbor. Within days of its completion, the new stadium terminal saw ridership between 150-160 passengers per day, even when there wasn’t a game scheduled.

I saw that it was time to restructure the ferry line. I ended the line at the stadium terminal and removed the harbor terminal.

With the ferry line shortened, there was no longer a need for the channel that had been draining Samson Valley’s lakes. I closed off the channel with terraforming. (A hydroelectric dam could have worked there, but would have produced too little electricity for too great a cost.)

closed channel

The water level of the southeast lake rose, but not enough to cause significant flooding. The meteor-created atoll has nearly disappeared beneath the water.

sinking atoll

The Poplar Point district expanded across what was once the channel leading out to sea. The new district of Woodland Plain formed on the opposite shore. I created a new ferry line between Poplar Point and Woodland Plain. The Woodland Plain ferry terminal is currently serving around 100 passengers per day. The blimp line to the cruise ship harbor continues to prosper beyond its capacity.

expanding district

As Woodland Plain filled with citizens and businesses, a level 3 earthquake struck Samson Point’s oldest shopping district in the middle of the night.

old town quake 1

old town quake 2

Earthquake sensors detected the quake early, and citizens were evacuated. Destruction was massive, but casualties were low. Disaster response teams responded quickly. In a couple of days, the roads and infrastructure were repaired, transit lines were restored, and the area began rebuilding.

old town rebuilding

Then, a few days later, a 6.5 earthquake hit the low-density residential district of Churchtown. Many homes were lost, the intercity train line was severed, but the cathedral survived. Already, repairs are underway.

churchtown quake

 

Running Water

map

The city of Samson Valley is doing OK, and many parts of it are rather pretty. Its main industries are tourism and renewable timber. Mainly, though, I built this city to try out all the stuff in the new Mass Transit DLC. I’ve built a network of roads, monorails, blimps, buses, taxis, trolleys, and ferries to move Samson Valley’s citizens around.

blimp

Samson Valley is built on the Seven Lakes map. It’s a flat area, so I didn’t see the need for gondolas. Considering what eventually happened because of the ferry network, maybe a cross-lake gondola or two might have been useful after all.

I built a ferry line around the northwest lake. Then, when an earthquake struck the land south of the lake, it gave me an idea. I turned the fault line into a canal, and expanded the ferry line to connect two lakes, and more of the city.

canal

The ferry line wasn’t nearly as popular as the cross-town blimp line, however. Still, it offered citizens an alternative.

When land became available to the south, Samson Valley finally had access to a cruise ship line, and its tourist industry grew. I built a satellite community around the cruise ship harbor. I connected the southern community to the rest of the city via a highway and a blimp line. I dug another canal and excavated a water passageway between the southeast lake and the river leading to wherever the cruise ships are sailing from. I extended the ferry network down to the cruise ship harbor.

ferries

Still, tourists much preferred the blimp to the ferry. People were waiting forever as blimps filled to capacity, leaving them behind, while ferries sailed mostly empty. I don’t get it. After sailing for weeks on a cruise ship, who wouldn’t want to transfer to another boat and sail some more?

Then I noticed that the water level of the northwest lake was dropping. It was dropping a lot. Ferries were in danger of becoming grounded.

At first, I thought it was the water pumps supplying the city with drinking water. I moved the pumps to another lake, but the water level kept dropping.

Then, finally, I realized the problem. All those canals I’d built had created an open water flow from the lake to the river. The water was draining from the northwest lake out to sea. The connected central and southeast lakes were draining, too.

The realistic water physics of Cities:Skylines often amazes me.

I considered demolishing a canal or two, damming up the water passageway, and deleting the cruise harbor ferry line. But I didn’t want to do that. Even though it’s a poor performer, I like that cruise harbor ferry line.

Then I remembered the fresh water outlet that came with Natural Disasters. I’d never found a use for one before, and I’d forgotten they’d even existed. I placed a few of them around the shore of the northwest lake. (I should really name those lakes someday.) I even placed one on Prison Island, so that industrious prisoners could escape through the vent.

I don’t know where the water comes from, but fresh water began filling up the northwest lake. The water level was rising, but slowly. I added more outlets. It was working. I decided to organize things a bit. I built a couple of short canals and moved the fresh water outlets, even the one on Prison Island, to the sides of the canals. It solved the problem, for now, and they even look pretty, in an industrial sort of way.

water outflow

If needed, I’ll use the same system on the southeast lake. Or, if water supplies run low, I can shut of an outlet or two.

So, the cruise harbor ferry is saved for now. Local tip: Tourists smart enough to use it get a close-up view of the mini-atoll created by a meteor strike.

atoll

My Latest Obsession

I subscribe to a YouTube channel run by a fellow from the UK, who goes by the name Squirrel. He plays video games, the games I enjoy. I keep getting notices that Squirrel has posted a new video about some game called My Summer Car. I had no idea what this game is, because, for reasons unknown, I’ve been ignoring the notices.

This week, I decided to check out Squirrel’s My Summer Car playlist.

This is not a game I’m interested in playing, but, at the same time, I am mesmerized by it. It is one of the most bizarre computer games I have seen in a long time.

My Summer Car was, according to Squirrel, was written entirely by one man in Finland. It is rated 18+, due to some crude behavior, intoxication, public urination, and swearing (in Finnish). The game is in Finnish, with English subtitles.

The premise of the game is this: It’s summer, 1995, in the Finnish countryside. Your parents have gone on holiday, leaving you alone in the house.

You decide to build a car, by hand, starting with parts and a rusty auto body. The building is incredibly detailed – every little part that goes in to a car is there, and you have to put it all together, using the proper tools. If you get the car running, you have to tune the engine, align the wheels, adjust the carburetor – everything you’d have to do with a real homebuilt car.

(Computer games are so detailed these days, it baffles me how someone could program all this.)

You can order parts for your summer car, but, since this is 1995, you have to fill out an order form, seal it in an envelope, drive to the general store, and drop it in a mailbox. You can earn money by selling firewood or emptying septic tanks.

I don’t know if this is an actual place in Finland, but where you live is populated entirely by lowlifes and drunks – and the police.

Death is a possibility. You can die by crashing your car. You can die from hunger or thirst. You can get hit by a train. You can also be killed by reckless teenagers driving too fast in their subwoofer-enhanced cars.

There are constant mosquitoes and barking dogs – it a game, says Squirrel, designed to troll you.

This game is strange and unusual, and I can’t look away.

Samson Valley Begins

Last month, I excitedly logged on to Steam and looked for the new Cities: Skylines DLC: Mass Transit. I searched and searched for it, until I realized it was coming out May 18 – not April 18.

Today is May 18, and I bought Mass Transit. I disabled all my mods (for now) and I started a new city, which I’ve named Samson Valley.

Samson Valley beginning

My little city is still suffering growing pains, and the blimps and monorails and transit hubs, etc., will have to wait until the population catches up.

This is going to be fun!