Cities Skylines Collaborative Project

Living in Zambia as a gamer does sometimes make one feel disconnected and out of the loop, especially when watching popular streamers and how easy and accessible multiplayer and online gaming is for them. However, what we lack in access and resources, we make up with passion and determination. Our Nerd|Otaku Collaborative Cities Skylines Project is an example of what is possible when a team of gamers nerd out and set their minds to creating something beautiful.

What is Cities Skylines? Well, it’s considered the best city building simulation game on the market with thousands of concurrent players online, playing and creating fantastic content.

Cities Skylines is considered by most as the best city building simulation game on the market at the moment

The city building simulation genre was established by SimCity in the late 80’s, and the player acts as city planner, mayor, and legislator. The primary objective is to take a bare plot of land and grow a city, limited only by the scope of your imagination. The player is tasked with providing inhabitants with services and infrastructure. Examples include electricity, water, waste management, transportation, education, fire protection, police service, etc. The more services and the more attractive your city the more people will move in and settle.

Cities Skylines is by default a single player game and there is no multiplayer feature. So how do we collaborate? Well, for players on PC who own the game via Steam, city saves can be uploaded to the Steam workshop. Once uploaded others can download the save. Our group of Nerd|Otaku city builders have collaborated by passing the baton of builder around with each player enjoying the save for a few weeks where they can build whatever we have planned collaboratively or where their imagination leads them.

The Builders

Zuze "Adande" Mwenda

Jabu "Jaybzm" Mulenga

Hardus "JesterMaroc" Prinsloo

This is our third collaborative city as Nerd|Otaku mayors. We learned a lot in our previous cities and wanted to make less mistakes in this one. Probably our greatest improvement in this city has been the extent of collaborative planning and communication among ourselves as mayors. Due to the disorganized chaos we created in our previous collab cities, we decided to totally nerd out and take a more formal approach to our collaborative playing with this city.

Probably our greatest improvement in this city has been the extent of collaborative planning and communication among ourselves as mayors

Using lessons learned in GGJ2021 (global game jam) from using Google Jamboard, we fired up a Jamboard and started populating it with our ideas and plans. Cities Skylines is an easy game to begin playing, but it is a hard game to master. Due to its complexity, having a space where we could collaboratively plan our city eased the process for everyone and created a city we all proudly enjoyed playing in.

The City - Final Overview Video

Playing together and creating a city we are all proud of has been a fantastic experience. Our journey represents the power of connections provided by video games, especially during a time of social separation and remote work for real life friends. Although the process has been focused on having fun, we also learned a lot and discovered new tools.

Community involvement added spice to out city project...

Getting the Nerd Otaku Discord (which you should all join by the way!) community involved added another layer of fun to our project and the city. We had a couple of lurkers who loved checking out our screenshots as we added roads, neighbourhoods, etc to our city. The game served as a stimulator for discussions about education, the role (and ineffectiveness) of government, taxes, etc. 

We did build a Jaad-Jekime version of Grandaddys Shoka Nyama!

We are planning another collaboration city play-through for 2022. All Zambian City Skylines players who wish to join us should reach out on our Discord so we  can add you to our team!

Here are some of our favourite inspirational CS content

Cities Skylines for Beginners...

Cities Skylines for Educators...

Cities Skylines for Artists...

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