Transport will play a key role in Cities XL. It will take two forms, transport within a city and transport between cities.
2.1 Internal transport
Most citizens will have a job that they have to go to and come home from every day. Plus, as we’ve already seen, they will have access to shops and service providers. All of this activity will pass through the road network, with each citizen choosing the best route available. To avoid the almost inevitable traffic problems, players will have to improve their transport networks by building roads with more lanes, or even highways. They will also have to build bus lines and subways. But the transport network will have to be logical in design: to work efficiently, bus lines will have to link residential zones with industrial or office zones. Citizens will only use public transport if they can find routes that bring them rapidly to their workplace, with at most one or two changes. Players would be advised to fund public transport in such a way as to keep waiting times at stations to a minimum. Their citizens will be grateful to them! A good transport network will improve access to service buildings (schools, hospitals, etc.), which will in turn become more efficient.
2.2 External transport
The city that you will build won’t be cut off from the rest of the world. There will have to be a way to export the goods that it produces and import the goods that it consumes. Maps of 10 x 10 km will have zones called CityLinks around their edges. Players will have to provide roads or highways up to these CityLinks. Each CityLink provides the city with a “freight” resource. A city with low freight resources will severely penalize its businesses. So, as your city grows, you will have to improve its freight capacity. However, you will have to be careful not to develop too quickly, as each CityLink opened up will increase the number of trucks on your roads and cause traffic problems that you could well do without…
You will have access to two types of freight resources: regular freight and passengers. Regular freight refers to industrial resources. It comes via road, rail, and air. Passenger capacity will be important for your offices, your tourism sector, and… vacations for your own citizens.
End of the second part, soon our next installment: Part 3 - "Agents & more"
Patrick Marechal, Lead Designer Cities XL