When I Play: Cities Skylines

Cities Skylines is a game I am enjoying a lot. Though it’s gotta be said: I am no road/building architect and usually, my cities end up having more confusing traffic than Los Angeles during rush hours (google it – it’s horrible).

Building Roads

Starting with every city, you usually need to make a highway ramp or two so you can actually start constructing your city. For me, thanks to my OCD, making ramps usually take hours and eventually, once I’ve made a decent looking highway ramp, it still looks like garbage.

Mods are usually key factor to making prettier looking roads. Thanks to the Precision Engineering mod, finding the right angles to making symmetrical roads becomes incredibly easier.

Roads is something you can dedicate hours to perfecting. The game itself is often quite finicky when it comes to raised roadways, as you’d normally expect the road to continue in a straight angle. In Cities Skylines however, raised roads will follow the layout of the terrain and end up having roads that look like goddamn roller-coasters. As a result I usually try to avoid raising my roads.

The most frustrating moment of the game – roadwork.


My curse in this game, is traffic management. As your city expands, traffic density does too and eventually your roads become more and more clogged with traffic. Because I am piss-poor at handling higher volumes of traffic, this happens.

Road spaghetti!

Yeah… I am not exactly a natural born road engineer. I had problems with traffic becoming clogged near my industrial area which resulted in my highways becoming jammed with traffic. As traffic was starting to pile up, access to my city was completely cut off and as you can see, my solutions to high volumes of traffic is usually a swing and a miss. In this case, I made a new highway that went around my city, intended for passerby vehicles that had no business in my city. This turned out quite well (except for the horrendous ramp structure) and highway traffic slowly normalized.

However, road congestion was still a major issue as my industrial area was still suffering from high volumes of traffic. Problem was that as soon as you drove off from the highway to the industrial area, you would be met with a traffic light which resulted in vehicles that needed access to the industrial zone, to queue up on the highway ramp.

I spent what felt like millennia, trying to find a solution to the problem and after a quick visit to Google, people with similar problems suggested making a roundabout as they are effective at distributing traffic without impeding the flow of traffic and worrying about traffic lights.

Yet another abominable solution to my traffic issue.

Not a whole lot prettier, but if it works it works right… right?!? The roundabout effectively eliminated major accessibility issues to my farming and industrial sector. I still had issues with traffic in my cities, but none as bad as this was. Plus, if I had to spend more time trying to find solutions to traffic jams in my city, I would have lost my mind as fixing my roads connecting my industrial sector took me almost 5-6 hours. Never again… 

The A e s t h e t i c s

I find nothing more satisfying than to spend time decorating the heck out of my cities. Nothing’s more awesome than having massive skyscrapers and parks to liven up your city.

This was definitely not the city I was most proud of, but it was an attempt at trying to utilize the European style houses. A lot of improvements could also be made. Roads were a mess in the city a lot of confusing one-way roads and if I had focused on placing my roads in grids rather than using curved roads. It would probably have reduced traffic jams while also using up as much space as possible for buildings.

Needless to say, I eventually abandoned this save as I came to realization that I had created a monster rather than a utopian city.

Learning by doing

Having somewhat learned how not to mess up roads and placement of buildings, I started over and eventually made a much more efficient, satisfying and rural-esque city.

Grids, grids and more grids!

The result of using a grid based layout made things much more easy, especially traffic, not to mention it’s also a lot more pleasing to look at.

What have I learned from all of this? Stick to grids – curves is a royal pain.