Sunday, April 26, 2015

Cities Skylines Covered with Dead Bodies and Trash

This is a mini-review of Cities: Skylines or is it Skylines: Cities.

I have been playing whatever it is called now since the day it came out. Most computer games hold no interest for me, but games based on the simulation of society or the simulation of conflict at the strategic level are interesting. I have my own ideas on such things which I may prototype one day, although only if I can stay out of the madness, greed and hypocrisy of the game industry.

Unfortunately, Cities Skylines just wasnt tested before release. About the time you reach the population of 10-15,000 people, your city starts getting mired in trash and dead bodies. The stupid tweety bird that tells you about it is useless. All you can do is put trash heaps every two feet and the same with crematoriums and pray.

Just as annoying is the bug in the model such that it is impossible to have enough workers of the right type around. Nothing you do will make a difference, you are just fucked. Maybe the developers just ran out of time or money?  Who knows.

Games such as this do not have to be realistic in order to be interesting. Nevertheless, this game, whatever it is called, will have lots of semi-realistic features and challenges to recommend it to those who enjoy such things, when, that is, they have fixed some of the problems.

We see by this example one of the problems with individuals, or small teams, modestly financed groups doing games: they may simply not have the resources to debug the problems that are caused by interesting internal simulations. Cities Skylines is a good effort, and shows promise, but is frustrating as hell in its current form once you get beyond the baby cities.

And then there is the bug whereby you can not save your game.  Lets not go there, its too frustrating to think about.  Presumably that one will be fixed sooner than later.

Save your money and your time and wait for them to fix the bugs. When these bugs are fixed, perhaps others will be revealed.  But nevertheless if they can fix it up to the 100,000 population level, that will probably be sufficient for the majority of players.   Shows an A- for effort but a B- for testing. Promising but frustrating in its current incarnation.

Maybe wait three months and see where things are?

Cities Skylines on Steam

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