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Hi dudes and dudettes! We are back with yet another development diary and this time we'll take a closer look at the various natural resources that are at your disposal when you are building the city of your dreams.

You can check the previous dev diaries here: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?802652-Cities-Skylines-dev-diary-archive!

Natural resource types
When we started to design how the maps would look like in Cities: Skylines and what they should have in them we came to the conclusion that rather than being just a stage where the player builds their city, the maps should have a more meaningful role. With the highways and railways crisscrossing the map and the water areas providing challenges for expanding cities, the natural resources work as a reward for expanding strategically throughout the map.

LoyrGB0.jpg

Info view for natural resources showing the different resources as they are located in the map. To the east you have ore on the slopes of the mountain and to the north you can see an oil field. The starting tile has fertile land for those who fancy agriculture.

There are four types of resources in Cities: Skylines: oil, ore, forests and fertile land. Resources are scattered around the map and once the player has expanded their city limits to encompass a map tile with one or more resources they are able to access them through the policies feature (if they have already reached the correct milestone to unlock Districts and Policies).

Natural resources are divided into two categories: renewable and non-renewable. Forests and fertile land belong to the renewable resources while oil and ore are non-renewable. As long as the player doesn't pollute the land or bulldoze forests, these renewable resources are always available for them to use. While oil and ore deposits are very large and contain a lot of units to extract, at some point they will deplete.

sTrbs03.jpg

Forestry is a good alternative to regular industry where the profit is slightly higher without risking drastic effects on the environment.

9gIbrTf.jpg

Agriculture introduces farm animals alongside wheat fields and apple tree gardens.

Accessing the natural resources
Using the various natural resources is quite simple. Once the player has set up industrial zones on top of the natural resource they are after, they can go to the District tool and create a district that envelopes the area and then assign one of the Industrial specialization policies to that district. As time goes on the industry starts to change to the designated type of industry until the whole district is of that particular industry type. The policy creates both extractors and processing plants (refineries and so forth) if a natural resource deposit is available. Similarly, if the player should want to return to the regular industry, they can simply switch off the policy.

EGnzMTd.jpg

Heavy machinery is required to gain access to the riches beneath the surface. Note for future city builders: With heavy machinery comes also noise pollution.

Even if there is no resource deposit in the area the policy still creates industry of the chosen type. However, these factories are only processing plants that import raw resources elsewhere (either from another part of the city or outside of the city). Extractors such as oil drills are not needed or usable without the proper deposit available.

Effect on economy and environment
Non-renewable resources yield a big boost to the economy of the city. These specialized industries generate noticeably more tax income than regular industry. However, their impact to the environment is drastic and they generate ground pollution at a much higher rate compared to regular industry. Oil and ore industry also require more electricity to run.

WOvr0bT.jpg

While oil industry is very profitable, its effects on the environment are clearly visible as the trees in the area start to wither due to heavy ground pollution.

Renewable resources on the other hand yield a smaller boost to the economy but due to their nature, they are for all intents and purposes infinite. Forestry's impact on the environment is a bit heavier than regular industry's but it requires less electricity to run than oil and ore industry. Agriculture doesn't pollute ground but in turn it requires lots of fresh water to keep the irrigation systems working. It yields a similar boost to economy as forestry and it also provides organic foods to shops in the city (organic farming policy creates healthier food that boosts citizens' well being).

iRWnqIK.jpg

Agriculture yields less profit than the heavy industry but their impact on the environment is next to nothing. Also the bright colored buildings and farmland create a nice atmosphere when accompanied by gravel roads.

Natural resources and power plants
Oil and ore can be used to run oil power plant and coal power plant, respectively. Each power plants has a reserve when they are built but once the reserve runs out, they require correct fuel from either the local specialized industry or from outside the city. These power plants work the same way whether the city has its own resource production or not. However, setting up, for example, ore industry and having a coal power plant to buy the goods they produce the player can make sure that they get the most tax income due to the mutual benefit gained from local industry (ore industry) selling their products to another local entity (the coal power plant).

OSIg3RG.jpg

Oil and ore industry can ship their goods to the local power plants. That way it is easier to keep the fuel reserves stocked.

Outside trading
All industry in Cities: Skylines aims to sell its goods to the local businesses and city services that require them. However, if they detect that there is overabundance of goods in production, they will sell their wares to the outside world. Similarly if the player decides to access specialized industry but doesn't have proper resource deposits at their disposal, the newly created industry will import goods for them to process further and then again trade with the local businesses and certain city services or ship the goods back to the outside world.

vyiEbj1.jpg

Trucks like the blue one in the picture haul cargo within the city limits as well as outside of the city. When planning industrial zones it is also important to plan roads well to allow cargo to move efficiently.

- Henkka also known as an artist, designer and level designer at Colossal Order
 

medopu

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Amazing news regarding districts specialisation around mining :D

But the farms look really small. Couldn't we have larger (zone-able) fields like we did in SC4 and CXL in fact. Please don't let us down like SC2013
 

kent87

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It looks very good, we have a lot of options available for industrial development :)
Only one thing - you can not see just anywhere smoke from chimneys. Will be the animation like smoke coming out of the chimney?
 

Yhoyotha

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Hello,

First it looks really nice what the devs got designed here and I am really interested in possible specialisation in different industrial branches.
It would be very interesting to start in with a small city going for raw ressources and going on time and change when natural ressources are going to deplete.

Only point I am not so happy with is the size and atleast in my opinion a litte bit weird building constellation.
Really small fields and just a few in comparision to the number of farm buildings, for my taste way to small buildings for the extractors and weird concept.

My suggestion for a dlc later, because I think it is way to much work for launch:
Add plopable and modular mining and industrial complexes(large sawmills for example) and the option to make it that industrial branch, which influence your whole city and culture.

EDIT: Also adding coal as a ressource and add huge surface mine with the big machines which are consuming the whole terrain would be also a very interesting feature and make this also really iconic for the city.
I am just concerned about size of the zone and so in comparision to the city and the rest of the map.

Regards

Yhoyotha
 

RedRalphWiggum

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Looks brilliant, and I really like the mechanics. though modern farming is actually ridiculously polluting, but for gameplay reasons I can see why this isn't represented. Keep up the good work!
 

KaOz

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What you show and write looks great! I like the idea of combining zoning and policies. I like it, that industry organizes itself and you just restrict what they do.
Concerning the farms, i think that combination of cattle, gardens and fields looks nice. But I thing fencing wheat fields is a bit too much. Also I want to second those above me: Larger fields (4x or 8x) and a variety of at least three different crops (Canola, Corn, Beet, whatever...) for these fields would probably look better. But nevertheless: This is fantastic! I am really looking forward to next year!
 

Victor Cortez

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[Evil mode on]What's this farming nonsense? Mine the ground. Mine the money.[Evil mode off]

Great, I like the system a lot.
Just one thing, I'm 100% ignorant in this field, so please feel free to clarify, but I thought the main thing used in coal plants were coal, not ore.
 

Allirion

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nice, I hoped the whole specialized industry branch wouldn't be in skylines, since plopping your own industry isn't my view on how a city simulation should look like. But policies (I never understood why sim city got rid of those) to encourage different industries, especially with zone specific policies, is even better than leaving it out. Now I'm getting really excited about the game.

I still think that growing the industry to farms is better than zoning the farms yourself, but I do have to agree that those farm sizes are quite small, too. It looks like there is a 4x4 limit on building sizes - if you could get rid of that for farms it would be nice. Or if that isn't possible make farms in adjacent plots not visually separated (no fence, stuff growing to the edge) while encouraging same yield farms next to each other, so at least it looks like one big farm plot, if that would be possible.
 

nikosmy

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Looks tasty

All looks really good, I am in mixed opinions about the fields as other people have said, with such big maps I think bigger more industrial farms should be made available, maybe with more ground pollution such as in real life? I don't mind that there aren't separate mines and resources for ore and coal as often mines will go for whatever they can and coal is in essence an ore. Keep up the great work
 

Sinbuster

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I definitely wasn't expecting this. Very interesting. I like the district specialization a lot as well.

I will agree with others on here: the farm fields need to be a lot bigger. I also think the farm buildings should be smaller as well. It looks like every farm has a processing plant on site. Also - and I'm just nitpicking here - but the agriculture buildings look a bit too space-age. I find the last two images are more realistic with a mix of hard lines and curves rather than just curves.
 

Miwi

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I like the district and policy stuff.
But I don't like the industry building design (and also not the big farm buildings), they look all too toyish, too clean, too repetitive, too unproportional in comparision with houses, apartment and office buildings. You see too clearly the industry 4x4 size limit and they just look as a small portion of a larger heavy industry complex...missing something, and somehow misplaced, difficult to describe. I hope that at least there are some bigger ploppable industry complexes.
And there is really no reason to put fences around a crop field ;)... I mean if it would be a weed field I could understand the need for a fence but so ....:rolleyes:
I also agree with the others that the fields are too small, too 4x4ish ;)
 

Person012345

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I like the district and policy stuff.
But I don't like the industry building design (and also not the big farm buildings), they look all too toyish, too clean, too repetitive, too unproportional in comparision with houses, apartment and office buildings. You see too clearly the industry 4x4 size limit and they just look as a small portion of a larger heavy industry complex...missing something, and somehow misplaced, difficult to describe. I hope that at least there are some bigger ploppable industry complexes.
And there is really no reason to put fences around a crop field ;)... I mean if it would be a weed field I could understand the need for a fence but so ....:rolleyes:
I also agree with the others that the fields are too small, too 4x4ish ;)
The toy thing is because of the blur.
 

Yhoyotha

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All looks really good, I am in mixed opinions about the fields as other people have said, with such big maps I think bigger more industrial farms should be made available, maybe with more ground pollution such as in real life? I don't mind that there aren't separate mines and resources for ore and coal as often mines will go for whatever they can and coal is in essence an ore. Keep up the great work

I think the idea with ground pollution would be great thing. Also an additional policy which decides what kind of crops are growing and how the pollution is going into the ground(chemical or organic fertilizer,something like that) and also water pollution following out of the ground water pollution(maybe able to interwork it with the water flow feature) so that a heavy usage of chemical pollution brings a good amount of crops but damage your ground around your city and not just near area around the field.
An organic use of the fields would be not so profitable but saves the environment.
I think that would be a nice tradeoff.

Regards

Yhoyotha
 

Darkath

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What about light industry ?

What always pained me in city builder, is that one of the first thing you're encouraged to build is heavy industry with lots of chimneys and machines and stuff like that.

Usually though, you only find these in a quite limited number in a given metropolis, unless you're talking about tokyo-level megapolis. But you'd never find stuff like that in a 500 habitant town.

Heavy industry should be imo larger complex that will difficultly pay for themselves unless your city is already at a certain size, or that you build your city for the almost exclusive benefit of this industry (for instance mining towns where almost everyone works for the mining industry, or the electronic industries in china).


Light industry however, ie smaller manufacturing, processing, packaging plants, are ubiquitous in any town/cities and are usually the bulk of what you find in "industrial districts/zones/parks", and should be the basic level of industrial zoning.
 

Darkath

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And there is really no reason to put fences around a crop field ;)... I mean if it would be a weed field I could understand the need for a fence but so ....:rolleyes:
I also agree with the others that the fields are too small, too 4x4ish ;)

Fences are useful for farms in places where there is lots of wind ;)

But i agree farms should be much much much larger.
 

KeanoManu

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Looking good. It sounds like some very interesting game play will be available. I hope the next dev diary will be about the districts and policies.

Great potential for adding more resources later on as long as the basic principle are in place. Grapes & Wineyards for example. Or a split between different types of animals (cows, pigs, sheeps...). Corn, potatoes and maybe even rice could grow on the fields later.

Nice to see the small dirt roads too. I think it's the first time?

I agree with that the farm fields are way to small though. Agriculture should be its own zone. One that works in a way that you build roads around an area and then zone the whole area within that circle of road as a farm. I THINK that was how it was in Cities XL. Someone who played that game can probably confirm/deny.

Normal industrial zones within agriculturas districts could then become industries more associated with the processing of foods. Slaughterhouses, sausage factories, industrial scale bakeries, apple juice factories and such.

Generally a much better feeling about this dev diary than the previous one.
 

airslo

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i like it, BUT why dont farms pollute? Farms are major contributors to ground pollution!!!
I think its very interesting how we dont build the mines, we make the policy which ALLOWS them to be built....very cool.
slo
 

Arizal

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One of the many things I didn't like in Simcity was the non-renewable ressources. I hope those ressources will have a long life, since it is not realistic that a huge ressource deposit last only 5-10 years. Specialization, while realistic, is also a turn I don't really like. I liked the freedom we had in Simcity 4 and the way the industry wasn't requiring all our time with requirement lines. Well, I will continue to look forward for Cities Skyline, but I just hope all won't depend on those ressources. Maybe even there will be (quickly) a mod "infinite ressources".
 

KeanoManu

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One of the many things I didn't like in Simcity was the non-renewable ressources. I hope those ressources will have a long life, since it is not realistic that a huge ressource deposit last only 5-10 years. Specialization, while realistic, is also a turn I don't really like. I liked the freedom we had in Simcity 4 and the way the industry wasn't requiring all our time with requirement lines. Well, I will continue to look forward for Cities Skyline, but I just hope all won't depend on those ressources. Maybe even there will be (quickly) a mod "infinite ressources".

I guess you could just ignore it and only build normal industries and automatically import the resources.