Lake Kajake (A Study of Traffic and Efficiency)

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V4nKw15h
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Lake Kajake (A Study of Traffic and Efficiency)

Postby V4nKw15h » 27 October 2010, 14:38

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Welcome my fellow city builders :D

Introduction:I'm not one for creating a back story to my cities, but I would like to share images of my city/s and share my experiences with anyone who shows an interest.

Lake Kajake was built with efficiency and profits as my primary goal.
I rough out the zones first (ugly) and ensure everything is working efficiently with good traffic flow and services before returning to make things look good.

Lake Kajake is extremely efficient. Minimal service buildings are required to support it while maintaing high levels of satisfaction and it turned out to be a technical study of the systems behind the simulation in the game. Traffic is by far the biggest influence on the success of a city in CXL and I have gone to great length, in some of the replies, to help others to understand how to achieve similar results.

Below, in this first post, you can see a history of the construction of Lake Kajake. It starts out with the latest update followed by the history of how it reached that point.

The discussion on how it was achieved is mainly left for replies to questions later in the thread. If you want to understand traffic or how to make your city efficient you should find most of the answers you need within the following pages.

You could also jump to 'page 13' to find a summary of much of the information discussed up to that point. It was written by chris_tof who compiled some notes while reading through this journal and then shared it for others to see. Thanks chris_tof. Here's a direct link http://forum.citiesxl.com/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=1258&start=120#p40039

Incidentally, no mods, unlocks, or cheats of any type were used. The city was built with no alteration to the game.

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The Fly-by Redevelopment Update (Population Approximately 2.25million)

So I finally got the redevelpment to a point where I'm ready to make a proper update and show things off.
It's been a lot of work to finally replace all the placeholder districts and tidy things up.
Here is just a taster of what is in this big update. Read after these pics to see how to download 84 new images including the fly-bys of the entire city.


NB: Click images to see full size.
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The Fly-bys

While taking images of the city I realised it looked good when I flew over the city so I made some fly-by's. These are basically a series of images starting from one edge of the city and then moving in a straight line forwards taking a picture every 100 metres or so until I reached the opposite side of the city.

They allow you to view the whole city in closeup and from many different angles as I fly across the city. There are five fly-by angles with 8-12 images in each. They are each in seperate folders and if you view them with something like Windows Picture viewer or Windows Live Photo Gallery you can cycle through them like a high resolution movie. You could even watch them as a slideshow if you prefered to automate the effect.

Along with the fly-by's are an additional 25 miscellaneous images in another folder (This includes the thumbnailed images from this page). In total there were 84 photo's which I thought would be best served in a single compressed file that you can download and view from your own computer.

You can download it by clicking here....

Download all 84 new Images including fly-by closeups
http://www.v4nkw15h.webspace.virginmedia.com/LakeKajake_84_Images.zip
It's 21.2Mb in total.

When you unpack the file it will automatically place all the fly-by's into seperate folders so you can cycle through them.

As always, PLEASE let me know what you think. I know there are not so many active members on this forum but if I feel there is little interest in what I'm doing I won't waste time continuing. Leave a message if you want to see further updates. Thanks.



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and some text :D

NB: Click images to see full size.

Here are some shots of early development (Population Approximately 500k)
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At this stage there is a high-rise development along the mountain range to service the dirty industry hiding away behind it. The core of the city is still low rise.


The city expands it's offices along the coast. Residential expands inland (Population Approximately 750k)
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The population jumps well over the million (Population Approximately 1.1million)
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High Rise offices and Holiday hotels line the coast. The lower classes through to executives now dominate the eastern side of the map in highrise apartments.


Blueprint production is well underway. 4 out of 5 Blueprints finished (Population approximately 1.1 million)
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Growth has slowed to produce a range of much need leisure related blueprints


A new industrial zone (Population approximately 1.36 million)
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5 of 7 blueprints are now complete. A second industrial zone has sprung up linked with bridges and tunnels onto the top of a flattened mountain in the distance. 9 million spent on terraforming.


Some Blueprint Views (Population approx 1.4 million)
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A view of the airport and the holiday shoreline (Population approx 1.4million)
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New Development Begins: Early shots (Population approx 1.68 million)
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As you can see, I start with the road network, mindful of the eventual traffic that I'm expecting.
In the first image you can see Holiday Hotels already following the shoreline with a Hi-tech industrial zone sprouting up on the left side. A road through the mountain to the maps edge provides good freight. The freight is extended all the way down the coast by a freeway that can be seen cutting the image in half horizontally between the Hi-Tech zone and the housing behind.
Elites are moving in on the nearest hill/mountain, executives in the valley. In the background we can see Skilled workers, and behind (out of sight) is an unskilled district.


In the second image you can see my services block (Bottom centre): Police/Fire/Health/Eduction and leisure buildings are in this one block, along with a few shops around the edges. This is the centre of the new development and the effect of these services are able to reach back across the map to the older city. This is possible due to the heavy duty road network already in place and will allow a major expansion without worrying about building more services. Elites and executives will surround these services.
Tip: Before starting a new area like this, ensure your unemployment is at 0%. Then when you build the new businesses you can build the housing for the workers close by and be sure nobody is travelling from the opposite side of the city to get to work. This is essential for good traffic and travel satisfaction.



New Blueprints and 2 million population: (Population approx 2.05 million)
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Since the last update the centre of the city has seen some changes, most noteably the two new completed blueprints seen in the images above.
The expansion, mentioned in the last update is growing but I'll save that for a later update when it is more complete.

All three of my support cities have all undergone major expansions over the last couple of days.
Harvest (my food support city) is now at 61,333 population with a surplus of 61 food.
Resevoir (my water producing city) is now at 119,422 population with a surplus of 37 water.
Fuel Dump (a multipurpose city) is now at 373,000 population with a surplus of 31 waste, 23 fuel and 17 holidays.


Redevelopment begins: (Population approx 2.05 million)


Here's the fruits of my labour for the last few days. The city hasn't grown but it's gone through a serious overhaul. It was time to make it look pretty.
I basically ripped it up block by block and rebuilt it to look as good as possible by choosing each building individually and breaking up all the straight lines. So far I've managed to complete this upgrade across about 25% of the city which you can see in the images below.

Click the Thumbnails to see full size - You really should because the detail now cannot be seen unless you do:
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The last image shows the current traffic flow across the city. If anything it's better because I was able to upgrade a few of the main roads.

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Here is the overhead view a couple of people have asked for. (Note: This image is now totally out of date. So much has changed since I made this update)
Click it to make it full screen.
At the bottom right is my main industrial area, but half of it is missing off the bottom edge.
A similar thing happens on the bottom left where the Unskilled and Skilled workers (who service the Hi-Tech industry on that side of the map) are just off the bottom of this map. They have two tunnels through the mountain to get to work.
You can see the layout of these unseen areas on the traffic flow map above.

It's worth pointing out that the Elites are actually positioned in the centre of my services. The left undeveloped side of the map is already almost completely covered by services (Health, Police etc) even though nothing is built there yet. The road systems over there already light up green when I look at the services overlay.


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Support Cities:Lake Kajake now has three support cities. One supplies all of it's food needs, and a second provides about 40% of it's water requirements. At approximately 1.4 million population I realised it could no longer self produce some other resources so a third much bigger city provides additional fuel, and holidays. This third city also provides some waste management to improve cashflow.


Statistics:
Check my own replies to this post for pics and data on the statistics of this city as it grows.


The Future of this journal:
I am very happy to discuss and share knowledge about this and my other cities so feel free to chat or ask questions.

Lake Kajake is no longer in development. It hasn't evolved since late January 2011. I ran out of things to understand about the game and that is always what I find most fun. Trying to untangle the dynamics behind the simulation is where I find most of the entertainment so once I ran out of things to understand I lost motivation to continue. I still keep an eye on these forums and specifically this journal so feel free to ask questions or leave comments if you have any.
Last edited by V4nKw15h on 15 June 2011, 19:01, edited 42 times in total.
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V4nKw15h
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Re: Lake Kajake Update

Postby V4nKw15h » 27 October 2010, 18:40

Small Update: (27thOct)

I've been working on my third support city today which is more advanced than the previous two.

This third city has a population of 220,000 yet manages to create a surplus of 14 fuel tokens, 13 waste tokens, and 9 holiday tokens while maintaining a positive cashflow. It even has a surplus of 5 manufacturing which are not needed specifically for my main city but I'm not going to grumble.

What is interesting, to me at least, is that I managed to achieve this while keeping all other tokens balanced. Only a couple are at -1 and could very easily be at 0 with 5 minutes work. I simply saw no need to currently do that because the city is achieving a surplus in the tokens that I require for the next expansion of my main.

There is still plenty of expansion space around my current services to double the population without really needing to add more services. I believe I could double the ammount of surplus fuel/waste/holiday tokens without much trouble. Infact considering I still haven't used the +35% fuel building nor the +35% offices building (both unlocked already) I think by the time the population doubles I should be churning out +40 fuel tokens, +30 waste tokens, and +30 holiday tokens, while keeping all other tokens balanced.

I'm quite surprised how efficiently this can be done with some clever thinking on how to minimise the demand for other resources.
Tip: Build Small offices only for a support city like this. Medium offices require High-Tech, small ones don't. High Tech requires - Waste, Offices, and Manufacture. Offices need even more Hi-tech. Get the picture? Small offices significantly reduces demand for resources I am not interested in for this city.
Last edited by V4nKw15h on 29 October 2010, 23:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lake Kajake - Now with Thumbnails

Postby City Builder » 27 October 2010, 21:58

Looks very nice so far.

Looking forward to what you do in an update with the city.
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canis39
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Re: Lake Kajake - Now with Thumbnails

Postby canis39 » 28 October 2010, 12:26

Looks fantastic, definitely interested in seeing updates!

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V4nKw15h
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Re: Lake Kajake - Now with Thumbnails

Postby V4nKw15h » 28 October 2010, 13:16

Thanks guys. It good to know at least a couple of people are interested in what I'm doing.

It's good to know you think it looks fantastic considering how it looks is not of high priority right now. I didn't want to waste time on building intricate housing estates when experience has taught me that I will only have to plow them down later.

As an example, I am planning a statistics update later today but before I do that I want to ensure that my services are as efficent as possible. I'm pulling down housing to relocate hospitals, police, fire services etc. This happens continually so I don't plan to do extensive beautification until the layout of the city is more solid. The plan is to build it, make it efficent, and then spend time at the end making it look really great.

An interesting point is that as I improve my cities services my cashflow is growing slightly. I started today at 45k cashflow, and I've currently spent about £15k extra on services yet my cashflow has grown to 70k without changing anything else. It seems that happy people work harder and make more money for my businesses. That's a nice touch I wasn't so aware of before.

Keep an eye out later for some updates on Satisfaction levels, traffic flow, and a few new pics. I think I may do some closeup screenshots of my completed blueprints if I get time. Lake Kajake is a work in progress and the point of this Journal was to allow people to watch it grow and hopefully provoke discussions on how to make efficient large cities in CXL 2011.
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Simaril
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Re: Lake Kajake - Now with Thumbnails

Postby Simaril » 28 October 2010, 15:23

Very nice!

I have a couple of questions:

What map?
Are you placing individual buildings? It looks very organic, yet I don't see the abruptness of random zones - nicely done regardless.
Can we see a screenshot of the trade menu?
Are you using any mods, custom content, or cheats?

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V4nKw15h
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Re: Lake Kajake - Statistics at 1.38 million

Postby V4nKw15h » 28 October 2010, 15:57

Here we go with the statistics update. I've posted it as a reply because my city will change and I will keep the first post for more general pics.
Current Population: 1.38 million.
This post will remain as reference and comparison for others at a similar population.

Firstly 'Traffic Flow' (left) and 'Travel Satisfaction' (right)
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The whole city is very satisfied with travel conditions.

Satisfaction Levels:
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For some strange reason my leisure satisfaction dropped prior to taking this shot. I had just deleted some Unskilled Workers who were unemployed and strangely their leisure satisfaction dropped from 55% to 50%. At the same time Executives dropped from 79% to 75%, elites from 77% to 73%. Weird. There is obviously more to leisure satisfaction than meets the eye. I will need to investigate further.
Nature Satisfaction from my execs and elites is a little low, and I should maybe have a look at improving this. They are all crammed together in the centre of the map alongside Expressways causing Noise Polution. I'm not too worried about this at the moment.

Tokens/City Production:
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Lake Kajake is importing 9 water and 23 food. These are from support cities. It produces 70% of it's own water consumption but this is now maxed out.
I'm importing 14 waste also but I have 14 surplus, so the city is happily self sufficient there. I was importing for a blueprint that finished up moments before taking the shot.

Other than that it is overproducing quite massively.
It is overproducing 28 Heavy Industry and selling some to omnicorp and using more in a blueprint construction.
It is overproducing 5 Manufacturing, 5 fuel, 6 electricity, 9 skilled workers, 6 executives, and 16 offices.
This overproduction was all created to develop various blueprints.


Final notes:
Although my cashflow in these images is only 30k, it is actually capable of being massively more than that. I could sell off all my overproduction to omnicorp for well over 200k.
My city is also about to require more external support. I've already capped out water production, and fuel is about to cap too. I can produce a few more holidays but will then need to import those too. So this is a nice snapshot of a city supporting itself other than for food and a little water.


I am happy to help anyone who is struggling to understand how to balance or overproduce efficiently in their cities. Feel free to ask questions and offer advice if you know how I might improve things.
Last edited by V4nKw15h on 20 June 2011, 12:02, edited 2 times in total.
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V4nKw15h
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Re: Lake Kajake - Now with Thumbnails

Postby V4nKw15h » 28 October 2010, 16:16

Simaril wrote:Very nice!

I have a couple of questions:

What map?
Are you placing individual buildings? It looks very organic, yet I don't see the abruptness of random zones - nicely done regardless.
Can we see a screenshot of the trade menu?
Are you using any mods, custom content, or cheats?



Map is 'The Lake on the Plain'. It is a balanced map - 1 fuel, 1 food, 1 water, 1 holidays. I chose not to use food though because I saw it was slap bang in the middle of where I knew I would eventually need my elites to be efficient. All food is imported.

I don't place individual buildings. I believe it looks organic for that very reason. The layout is based on efficiency. Districts are placed where they are to meet that goal and that in itself makes the city seem realistic in layout. Constant bulldozing and moving sections around to put workers close to work.
The centre of the map is for elites and executives with blueprints to make them smile, with the skilled and unskilled workers being placed further out closer to their industrial workplaces.
However, I was always somewhat mindful of how everything looks. I have no intention of building a totally high rise city with max population.

Finally, no mods, no custom, and no cheats. Trade menu's and stats can be seen in my previous post.
Thanks for the encouraging comments. It will motivate me to keep this Journal going.
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zbbrow
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Joined: 27 October 2010, 22:13

Re: Lake Kajake - Updated with Statistics (28th Oct)

Postby zbbrow » 29 October 2010, 20:04

Wow, nice work. It looks like you like writing which is good as your knowledge and game experience seems to be much over the average :D Keep posting, I really enjoyed reading your posts and I would be interested inreadig some tutorials/suggestions/instructions from you ;)

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V4nKw15h
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Re: Lake Kajake - Updated with Statistics (28th Oct)

Postby V4nKw15h » 29 October 2010, 20:52

I would be happy to help zbbrow, especially if you could be more specific on what you would like help on.

There are a lot of different aspects to the game so feel free to ask questions about specific things and I'll share what I know.
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