In Cities XL, the main game will be a city builder: You will be the mayor of a city and you must try to regulate its development. We say“try” because you will not have 100% control over what happens in your city– the city simulation will have a certain autonomy, combining both unyielding logical rules (the public sector) and decisions taken by independent entities (the private sector). It is this simulation that we will describe here. This article will be spread over several blog entries.
The simplest rule has to do with resources. Some buildings will supply one or more resources, while other buildings will consume them. First and foremost, there will be resources useful to the city: electricity, fuel, water, waste management. Then there will be industrial resources: agriculture, industry (heavy, manufacturing, high-tech), and services (hotels, and“offices” that represent the tertiary services– finance, the legal profession, marketing, and research). Finally, there will be transport.
Players will not necessarily have to establish a fine balance between supply and demand for each of these services. They will however have to keep an eye out for potential imbalances. For example, a resource that is in too short supply will see its price rising, which can have a negative effect on the businesses that use it. This will reduce the city’s tax income or, worse, result in bankruptcies. If electricity is too expensive, it could result in heavy industry moving out of the city. In contrast, a resource that is over-supplied will see its price collapse. This could have an effect on the industries that produce it.
Other buildings will provide services to the population. This category includes education, health, the police, the fire department, shopping, and leisure. The bigger and wealthier the city becomes, the more demanding the citizens will be in terms of the quality, quantity, and variety of services available nearby. Residents will take into account the distance that separates their home from a building providing a service. This distance will be calculated based on roads and transport facilities. It’s not much use being close to a hospital as the crow flies if you’re actually on the other side of a river and there’s no bridge… Ease of access to a hospital for different inhabitants, taking roads and traffic into account. Similarly, traffic jams will in effect increase the distance from a service. Players will therefore need to improve the transport infrastructure by building highways and providing bus services.
1.3 Living environment
The third important factor will be the living environment. In this context, certain buildings will have a negative impact: buildings that emit pollution or make noise, industrial dangers, and abandoned buildings. Others will have a positive impact: nature in the vicinity of the city, parks, and monuments.
The living environment will be an important factor in citizens’ satisfaction levels. It will be easy to control at the start of the game, but will become more complicated as the city grows.