Transport Fever: The virtual model railroad (sort of)

Transport_Fever_open.png

Is the game Transport Fever any good?  Is it for you? Let’s find out.

The year is 2000 and you watch as your stage-coach from 1875 comes rolling into town just past the electric tram. Your fully loaded stage of 4 passengers stops at the airport as the 747 Airline to Dallas is just taking off. Why? Because you can in Transport Fever!

Is this game perfect? Nothing rarely is but if you enjoy Cities Skylines or SimCity you just might really like Transport Fever even more.

The not-so-good (probably)

Before I mention all that’s good about Transport Fever, let’s get some of the basics, technically speaking, out-of-the-way that could be considered negatives with this game.

Tycoon Game?

Users have mentioned that Transport Fever is not a true transport tycoon game because there is no competition with other networks.  You are alone in this game as you build your networks and try not to go broke in the process (unless you are using the no cost mod of course).

Learning Curve

There is a learning curve in Transport Fever but it’s mostly due to a somewhat poor designed menu system that appears to be a bit out dated IMO.  The fonts in the menus are also smaller than they need to be which can make general navigating a daunting task until you get used to what the options do and where they are located.  You will also encounter some redundancy in menu options which can be quite confusing at first. For example, opening up the new line option can be done by clicking on multiple locations.  (Note: Fonts can be scaled larger in the settings menu (upper right) but doing this enlarges the bottom task bar and other menus to something too large for my liking!)

Laying Train Tracks

Generally track laying in Transport Fever is fun but sometimes you will find the track (and roads) do not want to go where you want them to due to uneven and height variations in terrain.  Using the in-game terrain height overlay option can help.  (It is located in the bottom right menu.)  Helpful note: A flat terrain works best for track laying but mountains and hills are fun and challenging maps to play.  

If your computer CPU and GPU are not very powerful, like mine, your frame-rate will suffer on larger maps and in later years when more transportation networks are working at the same time.    (My system: AMD Phenom II 945 x4, 8gb ram, GTX 750ti 4gb)

YouTube Gameplay of Transport Fever can help when you are just starting out or anytime

I highly recommend watching YouTube videos of basic gameplay and read about the game in the steam community for Transport Fever. (On YouTube I suggest Skye Storme or Colonel Failure as great places to start.)

 

The Good

 

A little bit like a Virtual Model Railroad

Create Virtual Transport Networks to watch the trains (boats, and planes)

Transport Fever features virtually unlimited track manipulation for creating a simple model rail system. Don’t want to mess with the mechanics of transporting all the goods?  In Transport Fever you don’t have to.  Want to transport only food? You can.  If you just want to transport people from various cities and watch your towns grow, you can do that too.  And with the no cost mod enabled you can create rail lines, ship lines and air transport lines galore.  While Transport Fever can be a great sandboxy type game for laying rail, it is not a very realistic virtual model railroad because you do not have as much control over your trains as you would in a real model rail layout.  Also, Important to note you cannot drive the train but you can ride along with it.   Note that in later years, a better computer system will be desired to fully enjoy your extensive transportation network. 

Graphics and Optimization

Transport Fever looks and plays better than Cities Skylines and I have an old machine (AMD Phenom II 945 x4, 8gb ram, GTX 750ti 4gb) until you get into the later years especially on the larger map sizes.

Sound

There are lots of sounds in this game. Some are wonderful and some can get downright annoying and repetitive (I’m thinking of the default airport, birds and train stations). But guess what? If you enjoy tweaking game files, (back up originals first) you can remove or even change certain sounds in the sounds folder. (HINT: There is a silence.wav sound which I found came in handy if you simply desire, silence. )

No Cost Mod and No End Year Mod

The Cost option comes included with the game and it makes Transport Fever the ultimate model railish transport sandbox. Enjoy laying train tracks, roads, airports? Lay them at your heart’s content and why not put in multiple tunnels underground or a giant bridge across the lake, because you can.
The game also includes a NO END YEAR mod so you can use that Stage Coach in 2047 and beyond.

Mods

This game uses community mods and they make an already great game expandable. The creators of these models and mods are truly talented artists!

I will list many of mods I use here that I believe are essential to have a great sandbox experience in Transport Fever.   (Note: As I live the USA, I enjoy mostly American looking models)

One of my favorite collections featuring Santa Fe and BNSF

A big thank you to the creators of these great models, skins and mods!

 

Conclusion

Learning curve, room for improvement? yes and yes but I highly recommend this game for the beautiful trams, stage coaches, trains, the sounds, the planes, the trucks, the endless train tracks and the fantastic working mods and models found on the Steam Workshop…….

Need Help?

As always feel free to ask if you need some basic help with Transport Fever and I will try to point you in the right direction.

 


Transport Fever on Steam

Transport Fever Workshop on Steam

Transport Fever Industrial FlowChart

How Transportation Works in Transport Fever

Transport Fever Wiki

Transport Fever Official Website

Map Creation Tool for Transport Fever

Fantastic video on how to Create your own terrain map for TpF using Minecraft WorldPainter

World Painter

Hope

Audacity

Fullyfreefilms.com


Image source

Advertisements

Is Subnautica Overrated?

subnautica

Is Subnautica an overrated game?  Of course.  Despite poor optimization, massive texture pop-in, and inexplicable frame-rate drops, Subnautica gets promoted as one of the best games in existence.

Is Subnautica a fun game? The short answer is yes.  But I cannot ignore the seemingly random frame drops and studders regardless of the graphic settings.

Subnautica also has another (albeit most likely unintentional) feature most people might not realize.  Intentional or not, Subnautica might just well share some allegorical tones with Christianity.  Let’s take a closer look.

Important to note: What follows contains spoilers

Subnautica is an underwater survival game in which you, the player, have crash landed on an alien planet.  The planet is filled with alien sea creatures–some scary and some cute and friendly while others are downright deadly.

In a similar way, the earth we live on is filled with people, some of which are hostile to others, mean and outright murderous.  And still many people are genuinely nice, friendly and trustworthy.  For a Christian, we know the hostility many face is because of our simple belief and trust in the God of the Bible—namely Jesus Christ.

Infected

Within Subnautica a bacterium (known as the Kharaa bacterium) has infected the planet’s inhabitants, alien life, including you the player, and apparently has become part of the ecosystem of the make-believe planet known as Planet 4546B.

In Genesis from the Bible we learn that the day Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, sin entered our world and has infected all of mankind.  (Sin in our world is the breaking of God’s law (the Ten Commandments)).

In Subnautica the primary goal’s are to find a cure for the Kharaa bacterium and ultimately leave the planet (since it’s not your real home).

Today, the world needs a cure for sin otherwise they will be facing God on Judgment when they die without their sin fixed and taken care of.  To the Christian, earth is not a permanent home because heaven is our ultimate hope.

Deliverance

In Subnautica, the planet’s inhabitants need a savior–someone to rescue it from the doom it is facing.  You the player, also need to be rescued.

In real life, we each find ourselves (whether we admit to it or not) in far worse predicament.  Since God is holy and perfect He cannot have sin in his presence which means no sinful person can be in His presence without being consumed by His judgment.  Sort of like a dry leaf being consumed by fire. And as a good judge must punish a lawbreaker God must deal with our breaking His laws. God being just and righteous means He must punish sin wherever it is found. Ever broke God’s law?  Let’s see.  Ever lied?  Stolen something? Hated someone?  God views human hatred as murder.  Lusted? Jesus said to look with lust is the same as adultery (see Matthew 5:28).  Ever used God’s name as a cuss word? Hitler and Muhammad names are not even hated as much to be used as a cuss word.  To use God’s name to express disgust is blasphemy.  The point is, we All have sinned by breaking God’s perfect holy law and need someone who hasn’t sinned to save us from judgment in hell.

In the game Subnautica, a rescue attempt is made by the spacecraft Sunbeam. As the Sunbeam descends onto the alien planet it is immediately destroyed, killing all the crew on board.

To me this valiant attempt at rescue by the Sunbeam could be looked as in similar terms as current world religions and people groups who try to persuade people to believe anything but what is true about God, the Bible and Jesus.  They come with a message full of a different Jesus or no Jesus at all the results are the same—it’s all done in the effort to deny, suppress or ignore who God really is and the reality of our sinful offense against God Himself.

Hope

As there should be in any great game, there is a hope in Subnautica but it has nothing to do with God, Jesus or the Bible.  A large sea creature called the Sea Emperor and something known as Enzyme 42 is where you will find this hope. The Sea Emperor is the only source of Enzyme 42 and ends up dying while her young hatch and save the planet (and you).  They hold the cure to saving the infected planet.

In real life, God is the only one who can save mankind from coming judgment against sin.  God paid the penalty of our breaking His law through Jesus Christ.  Jesus, God manifest in the flesh, took the punishment for sin by dying on a cross.  While we cannot fully understand God’s sacrifice for our sin or what He went through and the love He has for us (since He’s God and we’re not) we do know he rose again after three days.  Jesus’ in completing the payment for sin was raised from the grave which ultimately  demonstrated His love for all who believe in Him. So Jesus defeated death (punishment in hell), sin and judgment for all who repent and trust in Him.  Do you know where you are going after you die?

 

He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.   (Isaiah 53:3-6)

 


Subnautica on Steam

Subnautica homepage

See what hope looks like – FullyFreeFilms.com

Do Christians hate gays? Watch this

What Does Hitler and Abortion have in common? Watch 180

Find me on steam – Isaiah53six

My website – Take the Good Person Test


image source

The Allegorical Similarity of Subnautica and Christianity

subnautica

Could Subnautica share some allegorical tones with Christianity in our world today?  Let’s take a look.

Important note: This post contains spoilers

Subnautica is an underwater survival game in which you, the player, have crash landed on an alien planet.  The planet is filled with alien sea creatures–some scary and some cute and friendly while others are downright deadly.

In a similar way, the earth we live on is filled with people, some of which are hostile to others, mean and outright murderous.  And still many people are genuinely nice, friendly and trustworthy.  For a Christian, we know the hostility many face is because of our simple belief and trust in the God of the Bible—namely Jesus Christ.

Infected

Within Subnautica a bacterium (known as the Kharaa bacterium) has infected the planet’s inhabitants, alien life, including you the player, and apparently has become part of the ecosystem of the make-believe planet known as Planet 4546B.

In Genesis from the Bible we learn that the day Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, sin entered our world and has infected all of mankind.  (Sin in our world is the breaking of God’s law (the Ten Commandments)).

In Subnautica the primary goal’s are to find a cure for the Kharaa bacterium and ultimately leave the planet (since it’s not your real home).

Today, the world needs a cure for sin otherwise they will be facing God on Judgment when they die without their sin fixed and taken care of.  To the Christian, earth is not a permanent home because heaven is our ultimate hope.

Deliverance

In Subnautica, the planet’s inhabitants need a savior–someone to rescue it from the doom it is facing.  You the player, also need to be rescued.

In real life, we each find ourselves (whether we admit to it or not) in far worse predicament.  Since God is holy and perfect He cannot have sin in his presence which means no sinful person can be in His presence without being consumed by His judgment.  Sort of like a dry leaf being consumed by fire. And as a good judge must punish a lawbreaker God must deal with our breaking His laws. God being just and righteous means He must punish sin wherever it is found. Ever broke God’s law?  Let’s see.  Ever lied?  Stolen something? Hated someone?  God views human hatred as murder.  Lusted? Jesus said to look with lust is the same as adultery (see Matthew 5:28).  Ever used God’s name as a cuss word? Hitler and Muhammad names are not even hated as much to be used as a cuss word.  To use God’s name to express disgust is blasphemy.  The point is, we All have sinned by breaking God’s perfect holy law and need someone who hasn’t sinned to save us from judgment in hell.

In the game Subnautica, a rescue attempt is made by the spacecraft Sunbeam. As the Sunbeam descends onto the alien planet it is immediately destroyed, killing all the crew on board.

To me this valiant attempt at rescue by the Sunbeam could be looked as in similar terms as current world religions and people groups who try to persuade people to believe anything but what is true about God, the Bible and Jesus.  They come with a message full of a different Jesus or no Jesus at all the results are the same—it’s all done in the effort to deny, suppress or ignore who God really is and the reality of our sinful offense against God Himself.

Hope

As there should be in any great game, there is a hope in Subnautica but it has nothing to do with God, Jesus or the Bible.  A large sea creature called the Sea Emperor and something known as Enzyme 42 is where you will find this hope. The Sea Emperor is the only source of Enzyme 42 and ends up dying while her young hatch and save the planet (and you).  They hold the cure to saving the infected planet.

In real life, God is the only one who can save mankind from coming judgment against sin.  God paid the penalty of our breaking His law through Jesus Christ.  Jesus, God manifest in the flesh, took the punishment for sin by dying on a cross.  While we cannot fully understand God’s sacrifice for our sin or what He went through and the love He has for us (since He’s God and we’re not) we do know he rose again after three days.  Jesus’ in completing the payment for sin was raised from the grave which ultimately  demonstrated His love for all who believe in Him. So Jesus defeated death (punishment in hell), sin and judgment for all who repent and trust in Him.  Do you know where you are going after you die?

 

He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.   (Isaiah 53:3-6)

 


Subnautica on Steam

Subnautica homepage

See what hope looks like – FullyFreeFilms.com

Do Christians hate gays? Watch this

What Does Hitler and Abortion have in common? Watch 180

Find me on steam – Isaiah53six

My website – Take the Good Person Test


image source

What Lego City Undercover Has Proven

lego-city-undercover

Lego City Undercover is an extremely lite GTA style open-world game for computers and consoles that proves it is possible to make a popular family friendly open world game that is still fun but without profanity, prostitution and excessive gore.  In addition to this, the main playable character in Lego City Undercover is a police officer.  Yep.  That’s right, you play as a cop (Chase McCain) and actually have lots of fun and adventure in the process.

There are many fans of GTA that will always defend what it is. They will say it would never be possible for a similar game to exist that could be as fun unless the profanity, gore and prostitution exists.  I have long believed however that this claim could be proven wrong if only the game existed.  (By the way, I believe it’s actually the profanity and prostitution that is being defended from GTA games rather than the exploration of the beautifully rendered game world.

Enter Lego City Undercover

Lego City Undercover nearly achieves the objective of “fun to explore”.  Note I said nearly.  The world of Lego City has adventure and extensive exploration including flying helicopters but remember, the vehicles, aircraft and characters are made of computer generated Legos.  There is no blood and gore here just broken Lego bricks which is fine for what it is.  The sandbox open world style of Lego City Undercover is fun to explore even for adults like me but imagine if this world was not Legos but was a living breathing world complete with realistic looking people and vehicles.  (Imagine if there was an actual train horn for the trains…. something Lego City Undercover is inexplicably missing.)

If Lego City Undercover wasn’t made with Legos

I believe the concept and story found within Lego City Undercover is brilliant and should be developed into a realistic looking game world.  Even though Lego City Undercover is amazingly fun as it is with Legos, a realistic looking version of it (including a working train horn for the trains) would create a whole new game for me (and others) to play and completely accomplished without prostitution, profanity and excessive gore.

Will we ever see a cleaner GTA looking kind of game?  As of this post, one game to keep your eyes on is Police 1013 currently in development.

 

 

 

 

 


The Crew and the state of open world games

Third Person Open World Games Miss the Mark

My Review of Lego City Undercover on Steam

Police 10-13

Audacity

180movie

Athiest Movie

 


Image source

Modding and Making Cities Skylines Better

 

 

CS_buildings

Last time we took a look at Cities Skylines in 2018.  Today I want to discuss a few mod’s (modifications) I enjoy which serve to make Cities Skylines better and also we will look at some essential upgrades I think Cities Skylines needs “out of the box”.

Let’s first look at making Cities Skylines better with mods.  I use a few basic mods but am limited by what my computer can handle.  This is also true when downloading assets (buildings, vehicles, trees, etc) that have been created by the modding community found in the Steam workshop.  The more assets one downloads for the game the slower your game will run.  (my system specs are located at the bottom of this post for your reference)

Mods to enhance your game

 

Loading Screen Mod  One way to help speed up the loading times for Cities Skylines is by using a great mod called Loading Screen Mod by thale5.  Thank you thale5 for this great addition to Cities Skylines.

Find It! –  If you are going to be using assets in Cities Skylines, The Find It! mod by SamsamTS is an essential addition to help you quickly locate assets while in-game.  Very useful. Thank you SamsamTS for this great addition.

Move It!Move It! a mod also by SamsamTS allows for the quick-moving and copying of assets while in-game.

Fine Road Tool and Fine Road Anarchy – Two great mods that work together for allowing the manipulation of roads!  Thank you SamsamTS for these essential mods.

Ambient Sounds Tuner 2.0 by BloodyPenguin – Want to turn off or control individual volumes of sounds in-game? This mod will help you do that.  Thank you BloodyPenguin for this fantastic addition to Cities Skylines

Kra’s Realistic Ambience Sound Pack by KraIstGerecht –  And better sound pack to remove and change some annoying default sounds from Cities Skylines. (Ambient Sounds Tuner by BloodyPenguin list above is needed to use this pack)  Thank you KraIstGerecht for this great addition to Cities Skylines. 

Chirpy Exterminator by simssi – Essential mod if you want to remove the Chirpy from Cities Skylines.  Thank you simssi for this great mod. 

Slow Speed by Scott – Don’t like unrealistic speed of the vehicles AND people in Cities Skylines?  Other mods may allow control over the speed of vehicles but this mod slows the speed of the people too!  Thank you Scott for this essential mod.

Emergency Light Changer by boformer – Necessary mod if you want control over the color of lights on emergency vehicles from blue only to red and blue (American style).  Thank you boformer for this essential addition to Cities Skylines.

American Road Signs 2.2.0 by Judazzz–  Want the American green looking signs in your game? This mod does just that.  Thank you Judazzz for this amazing mod.

Daylight Classic by BloodyPenguin – Essential mod for removing the default yellow color from default Cities Skylines and giving the game a more realistic sunlight look.  Thank BloodyPenguin for this great mod.

Automatic Bulldoze v2 by mexahuk – Makes bulldoze management easier and automatic in Cites Skylines.  Thank you mexahuk for this great mod.

Road Options a.k.a Crosswalks Remover / Road Colors Changer ++ by TPB – Essential mod if you want to be able to quickly have control over your road colors and more.  Thank you TPB for this great mod.

Advanced Vehicle Options (AVO) by SamsamTS – Essential mod to allow some control over your vehicles  in Cities Skylines.  Thank you SamsamTS for this great mod.

Improved Public Transport 2 by BloodyPenguin – Great mod for allowing more and easier control over your transit system.  Thank you BloodyPenguin for this great mod.

Traffic Manager: President Edition by LinuxFan – Necessary mod if you want control over intersections, roads and more.  Thank you LinuxFan for this fantastic addition to Cities Skylines.

Building Themes (Green Cities) by BloodyPenguin, boformer, SamsamTS – Great mod for controlling your district styles in Cities Skylines.  Thank you BloodyPenguin, boformer, and SamsamTS for this great mod.

These mods are some of the best mods that simply help Cities Skylines be more accessible to the average user without adding the need for dependencies (except the sound packs)  into your game.  These mods play nicely with each other too (no conflicts as far as I know) and are easy to install/uninstall through the Steam workshop.

If you are interested, here’s a complete list of mods and assets I have subscribed to in Cities Skylines

CS_town

 

A Better Vanilla/default Cities Skylines

It is my opinion Cities Skylines could be an even better game by doing a few simple things.

Seasons.  The game needs Seasons by default or at least a Winter/Summer change (snow/no snow).

District Names Overlay On/Off Toggle.  The District Styles feature is lacking already in Cities Skylines but it really needs a simple ON/OFF name toggle to allow hiding/unhiding of districts name overlays that appear directly on your city while in-game.

Better default Anti-aliasing and Optimization.  This game seems to have memory problems and doesn’t graphically look that clean by default.  The edges on buildings, roads and well just about everything are jagged even on high settings without a mod.  In my experience any mod (such as Dynamic Resolution to counter the anti-aliasing problem only slows down older computers and seems to make my game look worse).

An American Overhaul. This is more of wish than anything but without mods, Cities Skylines doesn’t look American as SimCity accomplished quite well.  Semi Trucks with 3 trailer wheels? Railroads with catenary lines everywhere? Of course the emergency vehicles sirens are not American either and the overall look of buildings and houses don’t look anything like the kind we see in the United States.

Better Road Building Tools.  At least one that allows for sharp junctions and more control over where they can be placed.  Mod’s fix this but why not the vanilla game?

Conclusion

While Cities Skylines has weaknesses, it is still a great city builder and simulator especially with mods.

Do you play Cities Skylines? What do you enjoy about Cities Skylines? Let me know in the comments!


My System specs

Heres a quick look at my computer system. Yes I told you it was old but surprising Cities Skylines still runs okay (without many assets).   Microsoft Windows 10 Pro   System Type: 64 bit AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 945 Processor x4  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 4gb ram)


Cities Skylines

Cities Skylines Disasters expansion on Steam

Paradox Interactive

Cities Skylines on Steam

Find me on Steam

Hope

Audacity

Fullyfreefilms.com


Image source from my in-game screenshots

It’s 2018: Revisiting Cities Skylines

cs_snow

Today we revisit Cities Skylines, the city builder simulator/game (for computer and now consoles).  Remember? It’s that game that tried to replace SimCity 2013 and for many of us, was successful for the most part.  I have reviewed Cities Skylines in the past but there have been quite a few expansion packs and mods released since then so I figured it’s a great time to get a fresh look at the game and what I think about it in 2018.

Criticisms and Recommendation

While I do not hesitate to recommend this game especially for you who enjoy computer city builders like SimCity, I haven’t shied away from noting some frustrations with the game as well.  And at that time, the primary feature I have needed to force myself to overlook is the non-American influence and look of the in-game building models, vehicles, signage, road and track styles (Cantenary lines), etc no option to change them without mods.   Of course, since this game was made in Europe I can kind of understand the European influence but this isn’t always the case with games no matter who makes them.  (Police 10-13 for example is being made in Australia and as far as I can tell, appears to be quite American.)

Expansion Packs

Now it’s 2018 and Cities Skylines remains the only city builder for computer that has withstood the test of time and in my opinion has only gotten better.  There are expansion packs and DLC which enhance the game.  I will only be commenting on the expansion packs I have installed.

There is After Dark, which brings a few night related policies and styles to the game.  Snowfall, which brought snow-covered maps to the game, including trams for any map but did not bring us seasons, more on that later.  Match Day adds a Futball/Football stadium, which in America we refer to as Soccer.  There is the Mass Transit expansion which notably adds some more transportation options, such as Blimps, Large Airport, Taxi, Monorails, Cable Cars suspended from a cable (not to be confused with San Francisco cable cars) and ferries.  The final expansion pack I have installed as of this post is Natural Disasters.  The Natural Disasters Expansion features as you might assume naturally occurring ways to destroy your city (then rebuild it), such as flaming Meteor, Earthquake, Tsunami, Forest Fire, Building Collapse, Sinkhole, Lightning strike and Tornado.  In addition to some disaster related buildings and options, this expansion also adds helicopter air support including police patrol, fire, search and rescue and medical choppers to the game. Green Cities is the most recent expansion pack to be released which I can’t comment on since I don’t have that one, yet.

cs_one

What Do I Really Think of the Expansion Packs?

SnowFall

In my opinion, all of the expansion packs offer something important to enhance the overall game-play of Cities Skylines.  For example, in the Snowfall expansion pack the included trams are a necessity if you want to build a proper city.  SimCity 2013 included trams by default so SimCity fans will love having trams from the Snowfall expansion. Mods will let your download custom trams (such as this awesome cable car from San Francisco by stockjr97) which enhanced the city experience.  I recommend picking the Snowfall expansion pack up on a sale (either Steam or the Paradox website).  Also as the title suggests, snow is included but not as a season.  (boo hoo)

Neglecting seasons or at least Winter/Summer city building on the SAME map is a mistake because even the Sims 3 has snow and summer on the same map.  Right now, with Snowfall, (without mods in the game) a Winter map must be chosen in order to see snow and to enjoy some included winter parks such as an ice rink, ice sculpture park snowman park, sky lodge, curling, snowboarding, Christmas tree and more.  Water line heating has also been introduced with this expansion but I have not experienced it as a necessity on a non Winter map.

Mass Transit

Mass Transit expansion is a must for the added transportation options it brings to the game even if you don’t want to use them all at the same in your cities (but we try, right?).  Why wasn’t trams included with this pack?  I’ll try to understand, it’s about marketing.

Natural Disasters

In my opinion, the Natural Disasters expansion is fantastic simply for the helicopters which get added to the game!  Random disasters can be turned off in the options menu and just as in SimCity, any disaster can be summoned at will whenever—if you so choose. (Although I have noticed a curious increase in tree fires in my city since I have installed this pack).   However if you do unleash a disaster or two, remember you might want to save your city first.   (by the way Paradox, we want Alien UFO’s and a large monster to eat the buildings)

After Dark

In the After Dark expansion, I am not totally sure all that it does but it will include a prison, prisoner transport van,  nice hotel, casino, and some policies as they relate to tourism and leisure especially after dark.  Oh I get it, After Dark!   (by the way, the day/night cycle was already included in the game for free in an update.)

Conclusion

So is Cities Skylines better in 2018?  The short answer is an obvious yes but mostly because of expansion packs and mods.  The modding community has been busily creating more great content and in my opinion necessary content to the game.  I may need to do a post about that soon.

Do you play Cities Skylines? What do you enjoy about Cities Skylines? Let me know in the comments!

 


Cities Skylines

Cities Skylines Disasters expansion on Steam

Paradox Interactive

Cities Skylines on Steam

Find me on Steam

Hope

Audacity

Fullyfreefilms.com


Image source from my in-game screenshots

How to destroy a city without losing it in Cities Skylines – Natural Disasters

disasterone_CS

If you have the Natural Disasters expansion pack for Cities Skylines it’s pretty simple to wreak havoc on your city with say, a tornado, an earthquake or a meteor strike (or two or three) without actually losing the hard work you put into building your town.  That is, assuming you save it first.

cs_city

Manually Save Your City First (Disable Auto Saving and Random Disasters)

Besides simply saving your city, there are a couple of things you must do to preserve your city or town if you want to for example, watch that Tsumani flood your town.  But before you watch any natural disaster level your city, if you don’t want to permanently lose your city you will need to also disable AUTO SAVING of your game and disable random disasters.  Disabling these two options are very important if you don’t want any surprises later.

cs_options

Disable Auto Saving and Random Disasters

In the options menu (on the main menu) or within the gameplay menu while in-game you must uncheck all the entries for automatically saving your game (such as to save a game automatically every 10 minutes or more).  Why do this?  Doing this insures you will have full control over your city before and after a disaster strikes.   You don’t want the game to overwrite your city with an auto saved destroyed copy of your city by mistake!  You will also need the make sure the Random Disasters option is unchecked too.

cs_ingameoptions_marked

When you are sure the appropriate options are disabled (not checked), you can build your city and prepare your city for its impending doom.  (If you have a created a city already that want to see a disaster strike, load that saved city and just remember to make sure all the options I have mentioned above are disabled before you unleash any disasters!)

If you haven’t already, you can add some of the buildings to your city which are included with the Disasters expansion such as an evacuation bunker, early warning system, helicopter depots and radio antenna if you so choose.  It’s up to you what you do before you destroy your city just make sure it’s manually saved if you want to access it later.

 

Pick a disaster and watch the aftermath

When you are satisfied with your saved city, you are ready to pick a disaster.

The destruction caused by the disaster can be pretty devastating on your city but no worries because if you did everything correctly you will always have an untouched saved copy waiting to be destroyed again, and again if you so choose!

Obvious but important note:  Do not save your city after a disaster (without renaming the destroyed city first)  if you want have access to your original untouched city in the future.


Disclaimer:
My tips are intended for entertainment purposes and not officially endorsed by the maker of Cities Skylines. If you don’t want to lose your city, please save it. I will not be responsible for lost cities.

Like Cities Skylines? Read my review here

Like Simcity? Read about my updated SimCity (2013) (aka SimCity 5) experience here.

 


Cities Skylines

Cities Skylines Disasters expansion on Steam

Cities Skylines on Steam

Find me on Steam

Hope

Audacity

Fullyfreefilms.com


Image source from my in-game screenshots

Would you be interested in a family-friendly version of Grand Theft Auto?

Vlc_2013-08-15_08-23-01-13

The question was once raised, “Would you be interested in a family friendly version of Grand Theft Auto?”

And my response is, absolutely.  By now, there are mods available which turn GTA games including GTA 5 into a similar family friendly gaming experience.  Yet I believe there is money to be made for any game company/developer who developed a GTA 5 style open world game without the extensive profanity, sex and violence (specifically against others) which GTA games are known for.  Essentially it could be GTA 5 lite.  This game would feature the same map, same natural environment including AI traffic but different gameplay options.  Police patrol? Yes. Catch bad guys? Yes.  Cause explosions? Sure.  Fly?  Drive?  Run? Yes, yes and yes.

In-game options are always good

Another option would be for Rockstar games to include a filter(s) within their games.  Simple on or off options for language.  Street dialogue profanity on/off.  Assassin’s creed Black Flag includes a similar option to remove blood.

We already see games which feature beautiful scenery but do not focus on swearing, sex and violence at every turn.  The CREW Wild Run is a perfect example.  However, The CREW only features a driving mode.  No running, walking, doing police patrols, exiting your car, etc.  In fact you can’t get out of your car at all.

Just Cause 2 is another example of a great open world game without sex and extensive swearing. In fact, the swearing can be virtually eliminated by lowering the volume for dialogue.  However, Just Cause 2 does not feature a modern American style city nor a map or vehicles like GTA 5.  Additionally, there is a lot of violence in Just Cause 2 (explosions and commando style shooting)—against the bad guys.

Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption outside of missions doesn’t even feature all the sex, violence and swearing one can find in GTA 5.  Red Dead Redemption isn’t available for a PC nor does the map feature a modern American-like city.  In fact, RDR is a western game.

Modding GTA games

An open world game that virtually eliminates swearing, sex and allows the player assume the role of a good guy or as a cop will get my business.

At this point I will note the mod for GTA 5 called LSPDFR. LSPDFR is a police mod essentally allowing the player become a cop in the GTA 5 world.   The trouble with mod’s is how they cause GTA games to crash.  In the meantime, I will be waiting for a permanent solution to LSPDFR or even the family friendly mod for GTA 5.  Is Police 10-13 going to be that game?

 

Would you like to see a GTA 5 family friendly version or similar?


The Crew and the state of open world games

Third Person Open World Games Miss the Mark

Police 10-13

Audacity

180movie

Athiest Movie

 


Image source

The Crew and the State of Open World Games

Pic_20180109_004833_4096x2160

If you haven’t heard of it, The Crew is a massive online open world type game for PC and gaming consoles centered on driving cars and motorcycles.  The game allows the player to drive and race cars and motorcycles (2015 version) across a modified map of the United States.  Did I mention the map is large?  When the The Crew was released at the end of 2014 it was nice but was limited in its gameplay features and visual detail. It received criticism for it’s less than stellar graphics and static weather among other things. The game at that time did not feature dynamically changing weather as it does now in the most recent version of the game from 2015 (The Crew Wild Run).

Pic_20180109_003535_4096x2160

It is now 2018 and The Crew has been out for a few years but it still has many exciting elements to it.  For example, the world has been injected with a vibrant living world including people, animals, aircraft, balloons, and new and improved jumps and ramps.  I find this game a great rediscover since the original release of the game.  And if you purchase the expansion pack called Calling All Units, players can play the game from the cop’s side of things–with limitations.   Now it’s the limitations to The Crew  which make this game another great example of an awesome open world style game falling short of its full potential.

Game Limitations (and frustrations)

Let start with the police player limitations.  When playing as a cop in The Crew (Calling All Units) the player must gather wait for a notification enter a chase with another player.  Did I mention this game is online only? (I will get to that later.)   But seriously, why do I have to wait for a notification to chase another player?  And the chase isn’t a typical cops and robbers police chase either.  The driver you are chasing must take a crate from one point to another before the live police player can catch up to them.  It’s fun but it could be better.  What happened to patrolling the streets and pulling over speeding drivers, other online players and Ai drivers on a regular street?  In my opinion that would truly make for a great (and perfect) police expansion to The Crew.  There are limitations on the vehicle you get drive.  Opening up the number and variety of police vehicles would make things more fun too.

Online Only (sometimes stinks)

When playing the Crew, other driver players must sign in to play the game.  Live people are playing alongside you as you explore and race in this massive driving world. Sounds fantastic, right?  Sometimes this is great fun and sometimes it would be nice to be able to drive and explore the game with only AI drivers and without drivers who insist on trying to run your car off the road or engaging in demolition derby.

The Crew has been improved, visually since its first release.  But like other open world style games, there is great room for improvement especially in the realistic department.  In GTA 5 for example, we find many limitations and annoyances.  The game might feature a visually stunning map of grand proportions but a lack of realism and it’s over-the-top gratuitous elements ruin the game.  While it is great fun to blow things up and see large explosions I find types of games that feature disgusting profanity at every turn and on nearly every street corner as does GTA games ridiculous and unnecessary.  A simple profanity filter in the settings could fix this.  And as to the violence and sex, I do not play a game to kill bystanders or to have virtual sex.  I play open world games to mostly be able to explore the map and see the scenery whether it be by foot, in a car, boat, plane, train or motorcycle and have some fun with explosions, killing bad guys and playing as a cop in the process.  Oh, and did I mention the graphics and map should be at least as stunning and expansive as GTA 5.  I have yet to find this type of open world game but perhaps Police 1013 will be that game.

 


 

The Crew

Fullyfreefilms

Audacity Movie

Police 1013

The Crew 2


images are personal in game screenshots