The strange tale of a Cities: Skylines town with only one house
November 16, 2015 2:57 AM   Subscribe

In Cities: Skylines ... it can be hard to keep tabs on a single person's life for very long, and difficult to find them again later. I thought I'd fix this problem by creating a city in which only a single home could be built. Then I'd see who moved in and keep track of their lives. Here's what happened.

Via the ever-brilliant No Wrong Way to Play.
posted by cthuljew (56 comments total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
 
Am I being a complete tool, or is there no more to this article than the quoted passage? Because I see a page that ends with "here's what happened" and then... nothing. Just the comments section that bookends the page. Where's the actual content?
posted by Dysk at 3:15 AM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


You click through the slideshow.

I actually kind of liked it!
posted by teponaztli at 3:16 AM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


As suspected, complete tool. Ta!
posted by Dysk at 3:17 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you go to the page with NoScript and RequestBlocker activated, you actually get all images and text on one page ;)
posted by brokkr at 3:40 AM on November 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm not pleased with the state of funeral services in that town, but they are certainly pro-active.
posted by chavenet at 3:48 AM on November 16, 2015 [19 favorites]


This feels like a bleak sci-fi short story.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:49 AM on November 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


There are more buses than people living in the city.

Where do the bus drivers live?
posted by ardgedee at 4:04 AM on November 16, 2015


Where do the bus drivers live?

Out of town. They probably get a bus in to work.
posted by Dysk at 4:11 AM on November 16, 2015 [23 favorites]


Where do the bus drivers live?

In bleak scifi, this would of course be the last life of the Google automated buses and route generators.
posted by jaduncan at 4:18 AM on November 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Mefi's own etc etc

If you like this, Chris is forever pushing at the edges of games in interesting ways. Tom Francis' Skyrim diary is also worth a look.
posted by liquidindian at 4:19 AM on November 16, 2015 [17 favorites]


I actually posted the Illusionist In Skyrim article on here a while ago. Brilliant stuff. :D
posted by cthuljew at 4:22 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know why I'm crying.
posted by tirta-yana at 4:23 AM on November 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


I don't know why I'm crying.

Don't let the hearse driver see you.
posted by fairmettle at 4:35 AM on November 16, 2015 [18 favorites]


ok the bears thing was great - people, click on the "pushing at the edges of games" link above!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:38 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well that was depressing.
posted by octothorpe at 4:59 AM on November 16, 2015


This was beautiful.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:04 AM on November 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Those grids of tidy avenues and civic buildings with no one around remind me of Pyongyang. Or those weird Chinese ghost towns full of new construction that just sits there unoccupied.

I love these sorts of experiments in probing around the edges of game systems. I'll enjoy reading through these archives. Thanks.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:31 AM on November 16, 2015


Well, this slideshow design is thoroughly unusable on a computer with 768 px vertical screen resolution. Scroll up and down and up and down to see both the image and the text.
posted by Zarkonnen at 6:10 AM on November 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


It reminds me of Breaking Madden. The melancholy tone at the end is very similar.
posted by Octaviuz at 6:18 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Got it. If you only have one house in your town, the only way to gentrify is to KILL ALL THE RESIDENTS.
posted by Mchelly at 6:40 AM on November 16, 2015


I follow PC Gamer on Facebook basically just because of Christopher Livingston. Most recently, Playing Fallout 4 with charisma, luck, and nothing else.
posted by WCWedin at 6:42 AM on November 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


This is kinda how I play games... get a feel for the world's ruleset, then start poking at weird edge cases. I like it.
posted by odinsdream at 6:58 AM on November 16, 2015


I loved this story - thanks for posting.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 6:59 AM on November 16, 2015


"At least they are finally at the same park". Haha!
posted by Omnomnom at 7:00 AM on November 16, 2015


"Should these bears be here?"
posted by straight at 7:08 AM on November 16, 2015


Thanks for introducing me to the art of Christopher Livingston.

Ashgabat is probably the closest thing IRL to a city where someone used the Infinite Money, All Landmarks cheats and just went for it
posted by theodolite at 7:29 AM on November 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


I enjoyed this far more than I thought I would. And the Metafilter comment thread is just adding to the surreal beauty of it:

Well that was depressing.
posted by octothorpe at 5:59 AM on November 16 [+] [!]


This was beautiful.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:04 AM on November 16 [+] [!]


It's kinda like an old married couple, hanging out in two separate parks across the street from each other.
posted by nubs at 7:41 AM on November 16, 2015 [17 favorites]


Kinda reminded me of Alice and Kev (previously).
posted by kinnakeet at 7:42 AM on November 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


The link has blown up my iPad four times, after about the 12th slide. I want to read the rest, but I'll have to do it later when I can get to a system, unless anyone happens to have a link for the entire thing? (Which would be awesome, as I'm trapped in a medical facility, and the magazines here think Nixon is still in office....).
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:44 AM on November 16, 2015


Here's a link to a single page version of the article (courtesy of deslide).

The "follow an individual person" thing has been a dream of SimCity players (and programmers) since the very first game. It's remarkably intensive. Cities: Skylines finally pulls it off in a reasonably realistic way. It's clever to focus on a single family this way, so you can see it operate in detail. One neat thing about the game is when you play it normally, you feel like you can follow any of your thousands of residents the same way.

Rollercoaster Tycoon previously did this pretty well, particularly with the ability to give visitors colored balloons to follow them around. But they were more like test probes. My understanding is a lot of the simulation model in Cities: Skylines is based on simulating individual agents.
posted by Nelson at 8:13 AM on November 16, 2015 [13 favorites]


Thanks Nelson! What an awesome little piece.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:34 AM on November 16, 2015


Kinda reminded me of Alice and Kev (previously).

I had the same thought but couldn't remember the names after all these years.
posted by terrapin at 9:14 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who laughed her ass off at this?

Now I want to buy the game and create my own little warped scenarios.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:35 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


"That means, essentially, he takes his own garbage to work and sets it on fire. He seems happy about it, though."

I have no idea why this made me cackle madly but it did.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:46 AM on November 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


There's probably some sort of trenchant social commentary about housing crises that can be made from this article.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:51 AM on November 16, 2015


Kinda reminded me of Alice and Kev (previously).

Ah, yes. The saddest narrative ever to come out of a video game.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:52 AM on November 16, 2015


Oh gosh a person after my own heart.

Not sure how I didn't know about Christopher Livingston before. I do this type of thing with games all the time. Usually, like odinsdream said up thread I play through it enough to learn the structure and rules and then start fooling around with weird skill configurations or with self imposed new rules.

Makes me think I should record some of them like he does.

I don't think most would be that interesting to other people but it at least would be cool to keep journal of sorts for my own memory.
posted by Jalliah at 9:56 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


That Fallout4 one is hilarious. Luckily my nephew is the one with the PS4 so my newfound addiction to it is limited, but when I finish my first playthrough I'm super tempted to do one like that.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:59 AM on November 16, 2015


I'd like to do an Assassins Creed play through with an assassin that's scared of heights.
posted by Jalliah at 10:01 AM on November 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


WCWedin: "I follow PC Gamer on Facebook basically just because of Christopher Livingston. Most recently, Playing Fallout 4 with charisma, luck, and nothing else."

I loved that. It makes me think of the pacifist challenges in Nethack.
posted by octothorpe at 10:17 AM on November 16, 2015


I play that game as an assassin who's really fond of punching random passerby, and pushing fishermen off of piers.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:17 AM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I play that game as an assassin who's really fond of punching random passerby, and pushing fishermen off of piers.

I played a bit as one who would go into a blind rage when he saw anyone with a mustache.
posted by Jalliah at 10:25 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]



Wolves and bears.

Try going through most fantasy themed games with a no-kill wolf and bear rule.
posted by Jalliah at 10:41 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is kinda how I play games... get a feel for the world's ruleset, then start poking at weird edge cases. I like it.

This is kinda how I play the world... get a feel for the world's ruleset, then start poking at weird edge cases. Only I've been doing it so long I can't seem to help it even if I want to.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:33 AM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'd like to do an Assassins Creed play through with an assassin that's scared of heights.

And now I am reminded of that GTA playthrough where the kid and his dad obeyed all the traffic laws.
posted by longdaysjourney at 12:16 PM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


loved the fallout piece - wish I had thought of that when I tried playing fallout3. I am not much into fighting games, and it seems that I'm not even comfortable being mean in games. I didn't get very far with going around and being nice to people.

I also kind of messed up while creating the character. I spent a while creating the face. I thought that since you can adjust the sizes of all the different facial features, that it would be fun to see how much I could get it to look like me, a sort of digital self-portrait. I'm an artist, I thought, I should be able to do this. So I give her some biggish eyes, cheekbones, round cheeks, a smallish chin, a pointyish nose, blue hair... well it turns out that while you are making the face you only get to see it from one angle, a very neutral 3/4 view. As soon as I could see it from other directions I realized that I had actually exaggerated everything waaaay to much and now was walking around with this awful gargoyle head that still sort of resembled me.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:09 PM on November 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


In addition to Pyongyang and Ashgabat mentioned above: Naypydiaw
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 1:18 PM on November 16, 2015


That's funny 5_13--my former roommate has an almost uncanny ability to make video game characters look like him.

For Fallout 4 I decided to try to recreate Claire Underwood, kinda sorta looks like her if you squint.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:29 PM on November 16, 2015


I liked the author's style as well for this piece. It reminded me of Jon Bois's Breaking Madden stuff as well, posing philosophical questions towards strange AI behaviour.
posted by Metro Gnome at 1:37 PM on November 16, 2015


Aww, this is great.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:14 PM on November 16, 2015


We were playing WWE wrestling on a projector and made our wrestlers by lining people up so we could see their silhouette over the head and tweak the wrestlers profile to match. It was scarily effective.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:26 PM on November 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


hey that could be a game all by itself, like how fast and accurately can you match a given face!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:32 PM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I still haven't bought Cities:Skylines, but I remember this article make me want to play it so bad! My favorite of Chris' pieces has got to be his Game of Checkers, though - playing Crusader Kings II with the Game of Thrones mod. Poor ol' Ninedrick, Keeper of the Swans...
posted by gemmy at 5:47 PM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I played Assassins Creed as an assassin that's afraid of heights - Assassins Creed 2 to be exact. I had a paralyzing fear of heights and trying to climb the campanile near Santa Croce would give me cold sweats and nausea until I had played about 1/2 the game. I finally decided one day I would climb that damn tower and never do it again.

I think it actually helped, at least a little, since I'm sort of ok with heights now.
posted by fiercekitten at 5:57 PM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


This piece quite accurately captures why I've been addicted to Cities Skylines for months ; the game combines sci-fi style "systems thinking" (in that you think about citywide systems) with individual narratives. Can't think of any game that does it better.
posted by the cydonian at 7:03 PM on November 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Now I want to buy the game and create my own little warped scenarios.

OH GOD THIS IS THE WORST GAME

FUCK YOU SEWAGE BACKUPS

FUCK YOU VERY MUCH

bought it off steam after reading this thread and then played it for 26+ hours straight, swearing profusely while my citizens repeatedly died from mayoral negligence (not even on purpose!)
posted by Jacqueline at 9:12 PM on November 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


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