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Natural Growth In Cities X(x)l

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by TheDiplomat, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. TheDiplomat

    TheDiplomat Vagabond

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    Hello, fellow citybuilders.
    It's been a while since I last played Cities XL, and now with this new iteration of the franchise (XXL), I decided to give it a new try.
    Then I remembered why I prefered Sim City 4...
    It so happens that I'm a natural growth citybuilder, meaning that I start my city small, with some farms and little else. From then, I slowly grow the city, with residential/comercial taking place where farms was, while also extending the agricultural area, adding industries and so on. I tend to start with just a basic road, upgrading (with lots of demolition) as nedeed. Because of all that, I'm a very slow builder. It takes months to get to the million sims mark in SC4.
    However, that is almost impossible to recreate in XL because of the zoning system, where buildings don't automatically upgrade, be it by density or wealth. I have to manually delete a house to make way for an apartment, for example. And sometimes that means an entire city center being demolished and then rebuilt. I also don't like the idea of skycrapers sprouting out of nowhere... Not really something I'd call natural...
    So, are there any other Cities X(X)L players that try to build a natural growth city? How do you do it?
    Is there any mod or something that adds the option to upgrade a building without demolishing everythng around it?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. snick

    snick Moderator
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    Unfortunately there's no option to upgrade to higher densities other than to demolish and rebuild as you said. You can "upgrade" a building to another building model within the same density, but that's about it.
     
  3. TheDiplomat

    TheDiplomat Vagabond

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    Thank you, snick! That's unfortunate. I will play some more to find my own XL style, then...

    How do you guys build your city? I usually like to start my city where I want the city center/CBD to be, but in XL that is quite hard...
    So, do you plan your city before developing it? And what do you start with? Suburbs first, then extending to get the CBD?
    Sorry for so many questions, but I'd like some ideas of how to start and develop a city.

    Thanks a lot!
     
  4. snick

    snick Moderator
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    Well, I personally tend to build the downtown first and expand outwards, but that certainly isn't the natural growth approach you might desire.

    It also depends on if you prefer to use expert/sandbox mode or to let the game unlock different buildings/zoning options as you progress. If you're playing the default mode (unlocking stuff as you progress), then building from the suburbs into the city center is a good option.

    Of course, if you have the patience to, you can build somewhat "naturally" by placing stuff at the center and demolishing/replacing it once you're ready to build up.

    There's any number of ways to play of course, these are just a few ideas. :)
     
  5. Costanza

    Costanza Skilled Worker

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    I like to play this way too and you can ofcourse demolish and build up, which may be the most 'natural' way. However if your town grows into a big city, upgrading to wider streets and avenues may prove difficult and make your CBD look weird and unnatural. With this city I am doing now I lay the grid first, then zone when I need to so that resources etc. are correct while building my city.

    This is definitely something I miss from SC4, but I guess the variety between tjese games also bring a lot of good stuff with them as well :)
     
    The Funky Monk likes this.
  6. JimmiG

    JimmiG Unskilled Worker

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    In some ways I think the "growth" in CitiesXL s more realistic than SimCity. I mean in the real world, it's more common for the rich people to move to other, more affluent neighborhoods, rather than having the poorer neighborhood spontaneously upgrade. Gentrification does happen sometimes, but it's often very difficult for a neighborhood to shake off a bad reputation, even if the council tries things like beatification projects or improved amenities.

    Same with density - People don't just spontaneously decide to demolish their detached homes in order for an apartment block to be built, no matter how happy they are and how great the city utilities are.

    I play Cities XXL and SimCity differently. In SimCity, I start with a small district, and then nurture it until it expands and improves, then move on and expand.

    With Cities XXL, I usually start with a small "suburb" in the corner of the map and then expand inwards. By the time I reach the center, most of the higher-tier stuff will have unlocked
     
  7. Kurtis Edwards

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    I find if I start with the CBD I get disinterested with the outlying areas and might not finish the map. I always try to plan ahead with major transportation: highways, boulevards, airports, ports, mass transit. I'll do large parks and reserves/open areas during this phase too. Sometimes I don't even connect my CBD, especially if I have a more complicated 'downtown' plan in my head. However, then I build the more 'local' roads as the city grows. I do place individual buildings or CBD districts within downtown as I go along; it's kind of inspiration to keep on with the map.
     
  8. TheDiplomat

    TheDiplomat Vagabond

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    Thanks for the ideas, guys!
    I started a new city recently, and I'm starting with the suburbs, moving towards downtown as the population grows. It's not really the Natural Growth I wanted, but at least there's no skyscraper rising out of nowhere! hahahah
     
    snick likes this.
  9. Altiris

    Altiris Governor

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    I added back the 'Zone' upgrades to the XXL Community Mod (UIM has it too), this allows you to upgrade any T1 Firm or Residence. (Office,Industry,Manufacturing, Residence etc) to a T2, once they are unlocked.
     
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  10. Geneo

    Geneo Vagabond

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    I just bulldoze the T1 firms or residences I want and plant T2's in their place. 1) More people or bigger businesses in the same space, and 2) it's a lot cheaper than zoning a new area. Sorry, that "mod" doesn't sound like a big deal or a "must have" to me.
    How does it handle the old T1s?
     
  11. TheDiplomat

    TheDiplomat Vagabond

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    Thank you so much, Altiris!
    You rock!
     
  12. gbojanic

    gbojanic Governor

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    Actually that mod is a must have. Almost all mods require that one to work.

    There is only the option to upgrade T1 into T2 (with the Community Mod). So you have to destroy a lot of stuff. But that is like reality... For instance when you want to make a two lane road into a four lane, most of the time and resources will go into destroying stuff to make room for the new wider road. Same goes for buildings.

    I don't like to use zoning. I place every house/building/structure manually, one by one. I start a city by first deciding where I want the Downtown / suburbs / industry / airport / sea port (both the freight and passanger) etc. and then lay down the main road network (highways, boulevards etc.) or at least a big part of it. Then I start making the suburbs and an office area somewhere near where the downtown will be. And sloooowly expand everything because I like to make everything very detailed.
    I always play with a money cheat and full building unlock. I'm not really interested in the simulation part (although I try to keep all city needs in the green and traffic as good as I can), I just want to build a realistic and nice looking city with as many details as possible. This means that it takes me months and months to complete a city. But the final result is worth it.

    There is no correct way to play Cities XL. And that's the best part. You have the freedom to do what you want and how you want it. It's something like Lego's, all you need is a little imagination. :finger::finger:
     
  13. Kurtis Edwards

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    I love these types of threads. There wasn't any "absolute right way/wrong way"... no egos. : )
     
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  14. The Funky Monk

    The Funky Monk Moderator
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    I generally start with as small town with farms away from where my CBD will be, then work my way towards where I want my main city. I plan most of my highway system first though.
     
  15. Stevo

    Stevo Skilled Worker

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    This thread highlights the fundamental flaw of cxl as an immersive simulator. The lack of an RCI demand based progression. Having the player zoning specific zones gives the player total control in a limitless sandbox way, but it takes away the feeling of the city being alive and thinking for itself. This is why cxl is a poor simulator and has a dead sterile feeling to it. This is the main thing that needs to be addressed for the series to be anything other than just a city painter.
     
  16. Kurtis Edwards

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    I agree with your line of thought, it is a lot of what you say. However, I think a lot of us might agree that we relish the 'painting' side of it. There really isn't another 'city painter' out there like XL/XXL. XL can be intensely beautiful, incredibly versatile (Inan's Cuva Cavelio CJ is a great example, hell, many of his cities are wonderfully diverse in my opinion) in city style, and it obviously spawned XLnation, which is about the only 'online community' I actively partake in. I think it's incredibly flawed, but much like Star Wars 1 2 and 3... it is what it is.
     
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