Industries Expansion Preview


Farming specialistion

It feels like it’s been hardly any time since Parklife - one of Cities: Skylines’ best DLC - was released to much fanfare in the summer, and Colossal Order have just announced that the game’s seventh expansion is just around the corner. Industries will launch alongside a free patch and a new radio station playing synth tracks.

As you’ll know if you’ve read my articles about the Supply chain and cargo trains, I already enjoy the way the game handles industry. But I always felt there was scope for more depth and control, so it looks like I got my wish! I can’t wait to see how Industries will add to the game. Details are a bit thin on the ground as I write but I’ll talk about what we know and what I’m hoping for. Once the DLC is out and I’ve had time to play with it I’ll follow up with a review as well.

What’s Industries’ big story?

The expansion’s main selling point is the ability to better define and manage the supply chain for each of the four resource types. That’s interesting for two reasons. First, there’s no new raw resources entering the game. Second, it’s already possible to create a full supply chain. So what I’m expecting is much more granular control, insight and a lot more ways to choose how your supply chain should work. Addressing the currently rather passive system is great.

To dig into that a little more - we’re told you can follow products ‘from harvesting to processing, storage and production’. I wonder if that means goods will be simulated in a similar way to people, with tools to find out where exactly it was made and where exactly it’s going - and perhaps ways of interacting with that.

I’m also interested to understand how the existing specialisations and zoned areas will interact with the new ones. Will they be complementary or simply replaced? It’s difficult to imagine they’d just disappear from the game, which would have pretty dire consequences for a lot of our savegames.

In any case, the new overlays and panels to show us what’s going on under the hood are very welcome, as they’ll help us create the most efficient city industry possible.

Drawable industrial areas

Oil fields fire

I hope oil fields are as prone to this sort of thing as ever.

I love that the expansion is following on from Parklife’s park drawing tools. Industries will let us do the same thing but for industrial areas. You can specialise the area into one of the four resource types - which is no different than the current district tool - except it sounds like the specialised industrial buildings will now be able to level up - and that’s great news. Until now, there wasn’t a lot of incentive to deliver good city services to specialised zones, since the only thing that really mattered was decent traffic flow. Well, no more.

I’m expecting higher-level buildings will pay higher taxes, employ better-educated citizens (helping to deal with the ‘not enough workers’ problem I’ve covered here), produce less pollution and noise.

As well as zoned specialisation - which I assume still exists, we’ll now have a range of placeable buildings that are specific to each resource type, and they’ll unlock once we’ve place the area’s main buildings - a bit like placing the main gate for a Parklife park.

That’s a massive change to the game. I’m hoping that designing each industrial area will be as satisfying as creating a new park and really allow us to make (or mess up) reasonably complex production chains.

The extra control means that we’ll be able to define exactly what products come out of each area such as Metals or Glass from Ore specialised buildings, for example. It also seems like we’ll be able to create luxury goods by completing the supply chain (through ‘Unique Factories’, which I can’t wait to see!) and I expect these will create quite a lot of value.

Post, policies, buildings and maps

Postal services are arriving to the game. I’m looking forward to seeing how that’s implemented and whether it’ll take its place as a basic provision that cims demand, or whether it’ll be a nice add-on that gives a boost to happiness. Personally, I hope it’s the former. The extra traffic challenge and variety would be welcome.

As well as seven new policies that cover things like worker rights, safety at work and automation, it sounds like we’re going to see some form of toll booth mechanic. That’ll allow us to create paid express roads through the city. I love that idea, both for its flavour and for the way I can see that being a useful traffic-management system. And, of course, a way of offsetting the price of big new road infrastructure.

Elsewhere, we’re getting a new cargo airport. I’m really excited about that because it adds a fourth way for goods to move into and out of the city. That will give flexibility to areas that don’t have access to coastal, road and rail networks. I doubt it’ll come built in, but if the airport had an integrated cargo rail station (like the Cargo hub), I’d be over the moon!

Warehouses are also new. It’ll be interesting to understand what problems they solve. Perhaps by directing all of an area to use a set of warehouses, we’ll be able to stop that traffic from ever entering the city, letting us transfer it all onto rail, for instance. I wonder if there’s also a stock mechanic - with Warehouses ensuring continuous supply during a material shortage or something.

Industries will launch with five new maps. I’m hoping for some complex geography that challenges you to be creative in your layouts and designs and includes, of course, an incredible area for a nature reserve!

All in all, I’m excited

Tourists arriving in a full plane

This DHL plane asset from the Workshop is going to stop looking so out of place now it can land at the cargo airport!

I can’t wait to learn more and actually play Industries. As far as I can see it deepens the industrial systems in what looks like a really satisfying way and cleverly builds on principles that were so successful in Parklife.

Industries seems like it’s going to not only add new things to play with, but overhaul whole systems. We’ll need to wait and see how many new assets are being delivered but right now it feels like it’s going to be a substantial addition.

After Parklife, I’ve got a lot of confidence in Colossal Order’s direction for the game. Right now it feels like Industries could turn out to be one of the most important expansions to date. I hope I’m right!

Industries launches on October 23rd 2018.

Thanks for reading! If you end up buying Industries and would like to support the site (thanks so much!) you can pick up the DLC using these affiliate links: Humble Bundle. Thanks again!

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