Sunday, January 29, 2023

Top 10 Tips & Tricks on starting a new city in Cities: Skylines!

Starting a new city on a fresh map in Cities: Skylines can often times be a daunting experience. Hell, even after start fresh dozens of times I'm still sometimes overwhelmed by a blank map. Here my top 10 tips when starting on a new map and planning for building a successful city build.

  1. Start small: Starting with a small city is the best way to gain experience and learn the game mechanics. You can gradually expand your city as you become more familiar with the game, and avoid becoming overwhelmed.

  2. Plan your road layout: A well-designed road layout can make a huge difference in the efficiency and flow of your city. Plan your roads ahead of time and make sure they connect all the important areas such as residential, commercial and industrial zones, and public service building like hospitals, schools and police stations. Also, make sure to include at least one main road that can connect to your neighboring city to enable trade and tourism.

  3. Zone wisely: Zoning is one of the most important aspects of the game. Be sure to zone the right areas for residential, commercial, and industrial use, and keep them separated to avoid pollution and noise complaints. For example, you should keep industrial areas away from residential areas to prevent pollution and noise, and you should also make sure that commercial areas are close to residential areas to provide jobs and services.

  4. Use public transportation: Public transportation is a great way to reduce traffic and increase the efficiency of your city. Be sure to build bus and train stations, and connect them to the road network. Also, make sure that the station is easily accessible and in a visible location for your citizens. Additionally, you can add more advanced system like metro, tram, and cable car to improve your transportation network.

  5. Manage your budget: Money is the key to building and expanding your city. Make sure to keep an eye on your finances and prioritize spending on essential services like water, power, and sewage. Additionally, you can also generate income by building tourist attraction, taxing your citizens and trade with neighboring city.

  6. Monitor your citizens' needs: Keep an eye on your citizens' needs by using the in-game statistics and graphs. This will help you identify and address any issues that may arise. For example, if you notice that your citizens are unhappy, you should check the health, education, and safety services in your city, and see if there are any problems that need to be addressed.

  7. Use the terrain to your advantage: The terrain can greatly affect the development of your city. Use the natural landscape to your advantage by building in areas with a gentle slope or using hills to create a more interesting city. Additionally, you can also use the terrain to control the flow of water, prevent flooding, and generate hydroelectric power.

  8. Build a diverse city: Variety is the key to keeping your citizens happy. Build a mix of residential, commercial, and industrial areas to provide a diverse range of jobs and services. Additionally, you can also build park, recreational area, and landmarks to make your city more attractive for tourists and citizens.

  9. Use the right policies: Policies can greatly affect the development of your city. Be sure to use the right policies to encourage growth and development while keeping your citizens happy. For example, you can use policies to control pollution, crime, and traffic, and to provide better services for your citizens.

  10. Experiment with different building styles: The game offers a wide range of building styles, so be sure to experiment with different options to find the one that best suits your city. Additionally, you can also use the game's modding feature to add more building style and other features to your game. This will give you more flexibility and creative freedom in building your city.
Would you add anything else. Which advice would you wish you had put into practice the first few times you started you city? 

Let us know!

Saturday, January 28, 2023

The Making of Tron: Legacy (2010)

Tron: Legacy, the sequel to the 1982 science fiction classic Tron, was a solid follow-up that built upon the strengths of the original while also taking advantage of advancements in technology to create a visually stunning world that was a natural evolution of the original's vision.

One of the key strengths of Tron: Legacy was its ability to build upon the themes and concepts introduced in the original film. Like the first film, Tron: Legacy explored the idea of a virtual world where programs take on lives of their own, and the relationship between the users who created the world and the programs who inhabit it. However, Tron: Legacy expanded upon these ideas, exploring the relationship between the creator of the virtual world, Kevin Flynn, and his son Sam, who is drawn into the world and must confront the legacy of his father's work.

In addition to building upon the themes and ideas of the original, Tron: Legacy also benefited from advancements in technology that allowed for a much more visually impressive film. While the original Tron was ground breaking for its use of computer-generated imagery, the technology available in the early 80s was still relatively primitive, and the film's visuals can seem simplistic compared to modern CGI. However, Tron: Legacy was able to take advantage of over two decades of technological progress to create a world that was both visually stunning and an elegant evolution of the original's vision.

One of the most impressive aspects of Tron: Legacy's visuals was its ability to seamlessly blend CGI and live-action elements. While the original Tron was largely composed of computer-generated imagery, Tron: Legacy incorporated live-action footage of the actors into its virtual world, creating a much more immersive and visually dynamic experience. The film's use of light cycles, the iconic vehicles from the original film, was also a highlight, with the updated designs and more intricate action sequences creating a thrilling and engaging experience for audiences.

Beyond its impressive visuals, Tron: Legacy also benefited from a strong cast and a compelling story. Jeff Bridges reprised his role as Kevin Flynn, and was joined by Garrett Hedlund as his son Sam, Olivia Wilde as the enigmatic Quorra, and Michael Sheen as the eccentric nightclub owner Castor. The film's story, which followed Sam's journey to confront his father's legacy and stop an evil program from taking over the virtual world, was engaging and well-paced, with plenty of action and emotional moments to keep audiences invested.

Overall, Tron: Legacy was a solid sequel to the original Tron, building upon its themes and ideas while also taking advantage of advancements in technology to create a visually stunning and engaging world. While some may have been skeptical of a sequel to a film that was over 20 years old, Tron: Legacy proved that the world of Tron still had plenty of stories left to tell, and that the original film's legacy could continue to inspire and excite audiences for years to come.

I for one look forward to Tron: Ares, the next installment of the Tron universe.

Further readings:

Friday, January 27, 2023

New "Cities: Skylines" post series!

(Screenshot of rollthelofr's Hanami Bay city, via reddit)

I am excited to announce the start of a new post series dedicated to Cities: Skylines, in which I've invested almost 500 hours in the last few years. In this series, I will be sharing video tutorials from some of the best players in the community.

For those who don't know, Cities: Skylines is a modern take on the classic city-building game genre, where players are tasked with creating and managing their own virtual cities. The game offers a wide range of features, including zoning, transportation, public services, and more. With its complex and in-depth gameplay, Cities: Skylines has quickly become a favorite among players, both new and experienced. It's been a sort of addictive - almost meditative - experience for me.

In this series of posts, I will be sharing video tutorials that cover a wide range of topics, from the basics of building a city to more advanced strategies for managing your virtual metropolis. Whether you are a beginner looking to get started with the game or an experienced player looking to take your city-building skills to the next level, there should be something for you in this series. In addition to the video tutorials, I will also be sharing written guides and other resources I've come across to help you get the most out of the game. I might also try to get a few interviews going. Who knows!

So, stay tuned for more updates and be sure to subscribe to my blog to stay informed on new posts in the series. And don't hesitate to reach out if there's something specific you would like me to cover in the series!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy this new series! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

HBO's "The Last Of Us" is absolutely brilliant!

I just finished watching episode one in The Last Of Us series and I'm blown away by the quality of this first dive into this brilliant story. This is high quality television. A must watch!

And here's a ScreenCrush on everything you need to know (and some more) before watching the show. Spoilers ahead... 

Monday, January 02, 2023

Avatar: Rewatching the original

 Just finished rewatching Avatar with the whole family in preparation for tomorrow's first IMAX viewing of Avatar: The Way of Water. This should be fun.