Hello city builder. I can only assume you are one, either in-real life or in-video game, for you to have landed on these words. Around here, we’ll be nerding out at the intersection of gameplay and city-building, specifically around my creative build project in the game Cities: Skylines (C:S).

This is a project where I treat the game as a platform to explore various urban scenarios, ideas, and agendas. At the same time, I’ll be learning how to play and stretch the game, developing some of my technical skills along the way too. As a work of fiction, this build will also enter the realm of world-building and story-telling, both of which I have never attempted before this. It’s an experiment and an adventure that I am glad to have you with me. 

This is a work of fiction. All characters, places, and events are products of imagination. Any resemblance to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

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The Setup

Before I get into the actual build, it feels that some things have to be said about the baseline setup from which I am running this project as it will set the context for my actions. All info below are as at 1 Feb 2021.

Skill level

At the point of writing, I have clocked 110 hours of C:S gameplay since I first bought the game about 2 years back. That averages out to only one hour a week. My grasp of the  controls and game engine in the vanilla game is adequate and I have some understanding of how the Steam Workshop works, but my capability in utilising the right mods and assets to execute ideas is rudimentary. Watching YouTube build videos by masters like citywokcitywall, skibbith, William C , twodollarstwenty, and many others make me feel drastically inadequate. 

In short, even with ideas, I will need to upskill by a lot – and quickly – if I hope to execute some of it well.

Technical setup

While generally a Mac guy (and still am), I acquired a PC in late 2020 to play PC games in an attempt to get through the difficult year. The machine specifications was simply one of the preset configurations from the builder and based on what I have been reading about C:S, I will need to learn more about this if I am to dive into the world of mods and custom assets.

  • i5-9400F @2.90GHz
  • 8GB RAM
  • NIVIDIA FeForce GTX 1660 SUPER

Expansions & Base mods

I have the following DLC expansions activated in this save game:

For the beginning of this save, I am subscribed to a few mods that I am familiar with and also those that consistently appear on many YouTubers ‘essential mods’ list. (See ‘Skill level’ above for reference). I have compiled these as a collection on my Steam Workshop and will periodically add to it.


Base map

For this save, I wanted an island map with a large contiguous piece of land with a variety of land features, and also one that would offer me some development possibilities in land, sea, and air connections. This led me to the Honu Island map which comes with the Parklife DLC. 

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