Welcome to Village Park Estates, a city-building project combining the urban planning of garden cities and modernist communal living with modernist, modern, and postmodern aesthetics.
What is This?
This blog series is a worldbuilding and city-building project within the city-building game Cities Skylines, developed by Colossal Order Games and published by Paradox interactive. As a huge fan of the game, I’ve spent nearly three hundred hours building cities on the PC and uncounted hours on the Xbox One port by Tantalus Games.
The main body of this blog will be an in-world/in-character journal of the city’s founder, Charles Rosencrantz, and his descendants. My goal is to not only share my city design, but also tell a story with it.
What is Cities Skylines?
In short, Cities Skylines is a city-building simulation that adopts the legacy of the Sim City series from Maxis Games and propels it into the modern era of gaming. To say CS is a SC clone would be an injustice though. The developers have taken what the predecessor did well and has made it better, and taken what it did poorly and fixed that. It is constantly evolving through new official content, even five years after release. Most importantly, I think, is that the community—with an arguably unprecedented level of support from the developer and publisher—has gone on to expand the game even further by creating tens of thousands of assets and hundreds of mods ranging from adding custom trees to completely overhauling the traffic and population simulations.
I’ve found myself spending hours watching YouTube videos from other city-builders like Sam Bur, Biffa, BonBonB, City Planner Plays City Builders, and more. Over time, inspired by many of these great creators, I’ve progressed from playing the game to designing cities, going as far as to studying real-life urban planning philosophies, mass transit systems, and architecture. I’d say I’m far from an expert in any of these fields, but feel I know a bit more now than the average cim walking down the street.
For the uninitiated: “Cim” is the community term used for the citizens in the game. As far as I can tell, this is both a nod to Colossal Order’s prior outing, Cities in Motion, and a bit of legacy from calling the people in Sim City “sims”.
So, as I found myself spending hours planting bushes and tweaking pedestrian paths that nobody will ever see, I thought I should make this more worthwhile by sharing my creation. But, making videos isn’t really my thing—I have neither the skills nor hardware to produce quality content in that arena. But, I realized there was one strength I could call on…
A Conflux of Sorts
As an author, it stands to reason the best way for me to share my city-building creation is to write something. I’m also an avid worldbuilder, and while many might think that starts with fantasy worlds and ends in the void with sci-fi, there’s plenty of middle-ground to create interesting contemporary settings.
So, as mentioned above, this blog will be written in the style of journal entries from the fictional founder of the city—and as time goes along, his descendants. While there may be a few out-of-character asides, clearly indicated as such, I plan to endeavor to keep the majority of the content to an in-world perspective. My hopes is that as the city grows, readers will not only get to enjoy the eye-candy of screenshots, but also be transported into a city come to life through the accompanying fiction.
Welcome to Village Park Estates
With all that out of the way, it’s time to dive in! If you’re a Cities Skylines player and want to find out about my modlist and what assets I’m using for the city, or if you’re not a player and just curious, more on this can be found in City-Building VPA: Technical Information.
Otherwise, if you’re ready to see what Charles has to say about founding a city, his journal begins in City-Building VPA 1: Seeding the City.