The Crime and Leisure add-on adds complex changes to the commercial aspect of Cities XL, enhancing Leisure through the addition of a third category (Entertainment Leisure), and adding a brand new negative effect - Crime.
- Third Leisure category - Entertainment
- New negative effect - Crime
- Many changes in the way Holiday hotels function
- Greatly increased Retail demand, especially in Vacation cities
- Many unlocked buildings with full functionality
Soltan Gris, Altiris
Since the initial launch of Cities XL 2009, we have had the impression that something doesn't add up, concerning Leisure in the game. Buildings that all logic dictates should be Entertaining (like Bars and Restaurants) appeared as Retail; others like the Ferris Wheel and the Bowling alley, which logic dictates should be private ventures, were state-run. And modders that have access to the core files of the game have noticed another negative effect, buried in the code, but inactive - Crime. Combining all these bits of info with our natural desire to improve this beloved game, we started work and created this comprehensive functionality add-on, which will change significantly the way Commerce handles in the game.
When creating the mod, we attempted to deliver a balanced gaming experience, having its logic firmly rooted in real life, while at the same time respecting the original gameplay of Cities XL. We believe the result improves the game greatly.
Important note: On installing the CLM, you will notice abrupt changes in the economy of big cities (especially vacation-oriented and office cities). Retail demand will skyrocket, and could even go into the red - you might want to pause the game and quickly erect some malls to prevent disaster! Also, there are many former Retail or Leisure buildings that are now Entertainment buildings, emitting Crime - you might want to put more Police stations immediately!
The Crime effect
Tremble before the might of the Mafia! Criminals are invading Cities XL and threatening the calm way of life in our cities! Your police forces will now be put to the test, fighting crime on different levels!
The new negative effect, Crime, is fully functional, complete with its own Layer! Click on the Security satisfaction layer to discover all buildings that emit Crime (marked with a red police badge), all buildings affected by it (marked by a negative cash icon) and all Police buildings (blue badge). Crime works as other negative effects (Air and Noise pollution), but unlike them, it could be fought directly by building more Security buildings (Police stations).
What types of Crime are there?
We have different levels (and types) of Crime:
- Regular street crime, which abounds next to 'shady' places like bars, casinos, discothèques, and most of the Entertainment industry. The simple thieves also tend to 'visit' more public places, where there is concentration of population. Also, beware of the vandals that like going to large sports venues!
- Domestic crime - your husband drank too much and started a row at home? Your kids got some ideas from the movies and went around breaking lights in the neighborhood? The danger of too much exposure to the 'bad' aspects of our society is always present.... too many restaurants and other 'fun' buildings could also increase Crime levels on a citywide scale! Although this effect won't be immediately perceptible, or nearly as severe as regular crime....
- Corporate crime - this last form of highly organized crime will appear in shiny office buildings, behind whose opaque windows the criminal masterminds plot how to steal large sums of money from the unsuspecting citizens, without resorting to such brute tactics as the knife in the dark. No, they would use computers and the Internet, or hire middle men for their work, but the final effect would be again less tranquility in the city.
What does crime affect?
Besides the obvious consequence of Crime - less Security satisfaction for citizens, two other entities in the city will be affected negatively by crime - all Retail and all Hotels. Too much crime nearby would mean less profits for them, and no wonder - when thieves are stealing merchandize or invading the rooms of the hotel customers, things are not well!
You can track the rate of Security satisfaction of all affected buildings in the regular way - open their Information panel and take a look at the 'Affected by' section. The colour dot would, as usual, show the level of satisfaction the building has with the factor in question.
How to fight crime?
There are two simple ways to fight crime:
- Evade it, by not building Crime -emitting buildings. Just pay attention to the tooltip information of a building before plopping it, it'll say whether it has a Crime effect, or not - the same way it says it has Air or Sound Pollution. Of course, you will still need some police stations in the city, as usual, to keep the normal state of affairs.
- If you absolutely want these cool Entertainment buildings, then you'll need lots of Police stations. Their effect lowers Crime in the area, increasing Security satisfaction. And to give you some help, we've included a brand new building - a Prison, where you can lock away the most dangerous criminals so your citizens could sleep at night!
The second major addition to the game is a brand new category of Leisure - Entertainment! No more restaurants presented as 'Retail', or Leisure buildings that contrary to all logic are state-maintained! This new category covers all these buildings that provide your population with fun, but are in many ways 'unhealthy' and thus should not be officially sanctioned, nor maintained by the city. Entertainment is found in the construction menu under Commerce/Leisure.The main trait of this new category is that, unlike other Leisure, this is a private business - just like Retail, Industry, etc. It would net your city tax income, and you could even control its tax rates from the Budget panel!
Most Entertainment is sensitive to Population density - the more people concentrate around, the more clients are the bars likely to have, and the more income they'll net! So, try to build Entertainment in densely populated central districts, and not on desolate country roads. You may have some problems finding the best places, but you'll eventually find the way!
Unfortunately, this potential new income source for your city comes with a catch - most Entertainment produces Crime, either attracting thugs and other unsavory people nearby the establishments, or by generating a city-wide atmosphere of moral decay. Be ready to counter this!
The Entertainment buildings are ploppable, and will unlock little by little like the other Leisure buildings (unless of course you activate Expert mode). They are roughly divided in three tiers, as usual:
- Tier 1 are the most 'innocent' ones, like restaurants, coffee shops, etc. They produce little or no crime, and most of the time it's the weak, city-wide effect.
- Tier 2 are nightlife venues like Bars and Pubs; and also some other more 'serious fun' buildings. They produce quite some Crime nearby, and many times also Noise Pollution.
- Tier 3 are the biggest Entertainment buildings - casinos, discothèques, cinema theaters.... Of course, they provide lots of fun and Leisure satisfaction, but be wary! This comes at a price - most of them produce a LOT of crime nearby, and also have some city-wide crime effect. And Noise pollution!
The variety of buildings in the new category is ever increasing! Keep an eye out for future updates and discover all the new contributions other members of the modding community will make!
The new Leisure resource
We've introduced another resource in the game - Leisure! It behaves just like other non-tradeable resources (like Retail) - it is being produced by some buildings and consumed by other buildings AND citizens, but you can't trade it with other cities or Omnicorp. You will notice Leisure resource in the new Resource panel, under the group Other.
What produces Leisure resource?
Well, Leisure buildings of course! All of them, excluding some basic Sports and Cultural Leisure buildings (for balance reasons) produce the resource. Just look into the building description and you'll see Production - Leisure in those that produce it.
What consumes Leisure resource?
The resource is consumed by citizens (the bigger the city, the more Leisure it will consume), and by Holiday Hotels - so you'll need a lot more Leisure production in vacation cities!
What can be the effect of over- or underproduction of Leisure?
Over- or underproducing this resource will affect the businesses that produce it, or consume it - Entertainment Leisure and Holiday Hotels. As usual, overproduction of the resource will drive its price down, cutting back profits for buildings that produce it (that is, Entertainment); while underproduction will drive the price up, negatively affecting profits for buildings that use it (Hotels).
The Holiday hotels makeoverThe next big change comes to Tourism - with a vast array of new features for Holiday hotels. From a straightforward and a bit obscure branch of CXL landscape they turn into a full-fledged industry, capable of sustaining whole cities, but in the same time dependend on more factors! But how is this done? Here are the major changes allowing it:
- Maximum profits increased - a single Large Holiday hotel could now earn more than 1500 C of taxes under the perfect conditions!
- Resource consumption added - all Hotels now consume both the Retail and the new Leisure resources, so the more hotels you have in the city, the more of these resources you'll need to supply (and since neither of them is tradeable, you have no choice but to build the respective buildings in the city)
- More dependency added - instead of depending only on Environment, Holiday hotels now depend also on nearby Security and Leisure services! If you want to achieve the maximum potential profits of your hotels, you'll need to work hard for it.
- Tuned down the portion of Holiday area resource Small and Medium hotels consume - which means practically that you can now build more hotels per square of Holiday area resource than before.
Combining all these changes, we get a much more interesting and challenging Touristic aspect in the game. And even more interesting is the fact that these changes actually trigger other related changes in the game, such as increased Retail consumption in the city.
The Mayor of a Vacation town will have to deal with more issues than before, and rethink its approach and city planning.
Other commerce changes
Following the same trend, changes have also been made to all Retail and Business Hotels:
- Added Retail consumption and increased maximum profits for Business hotels. They could now change the way Office cities are built, although not in so dramatic a way.
- Diminished the amount of Business hotel resource that Large Business hotels supply - so you might need some more hotels now than before.
- Increased maximum profits of Medium and Large Retail, so that commerce now earns more realistic profits.
- Added Security sensitivity to all Retail - stores and malls will now suffer from increased Crime in the area! Just so that your life is not that much easier....
And with the new Entertainment Leisure category, we've rearranged significantly the other two Leisure categories, removing illogical buildings and adding new, more interesting ones, which are also closer to real life.
Now, how will all these changes affect gameplay? Unlike other, 'cosmetic' mods, which add a building, or decoration. or simply allow placing buildings in ways impossible before, the CLM will affect the basic gameplay of Cities XL. Of course, we'll leave to the dedicated player to discover all new options the mod gives you, but let's state some possibilities here:
- Self-sufficient Vacation centers. Choose a map with 3 stars in Holidays, and start building hotels! You'll discover that you'll need much more Commerce as a whole in the city (More Leisure, more Retail), and that the revenue generated by all of it is sufficient to maintain the city, almost without having to resort to alternative sources of income (like High tech Industry or Offices).
- Las Vegas-styled city! With the new Entertainment industry you could build yourself a 'casino' city - again you'll need many Holiday hotels to boost Leisure demand. Just be careful not to let Crime out of control!
- Interesting Leisure combinations. You'll find it's much more fun trying to find the right combination of Leisure activities for your citizens. Now you can't build Leisure indefinitely, not only because it's gonna tax the city coffers, but also because the Leisure resource is gonna go into overproduction, and Entertainment industry will suffer. So, choose your strategy: a balanced city with all three kinds of Leisure (Sport, Cultural and Entertainment), a fun paradise (Entertainment only) which will earn a lot of income, a Cultural city with Sport and Cultural venues to attract tourists.... the possibilities are many!
When using CLM, the first and foremost issue you need to be aware of is the changed way some buildings behave - for example the fact that many former Retail buildings are now Entertainment ones, and produce Crime. Try to get acquainted with the new buildings in the Entertainment category, and keep an eye on descriptions, so you know what to expect from each building.
You'll notice that the Crime effect in the city affects not only your citizen's satisfaction, but also the profits of commerce. But you'll also notice that Police stations will quickly reduce Crime. So, learn how to use the Security services of your city to curb Crime, and not only to provide one of many generic satisfactions to your citizens as before!
When building the new Entertainment Leisure buildings, note that most of them depend on Population density. That means that these buildings fare better in more densely populated areas! Look to build them either into your CBD (Central Business District), ot in other important places where commercial or industrial services are concentrated.
Finally, be aware of the new requirements of Holiday hotels! They will now require not only good Security, but also plenty of Leisure! For the latter, you'll need not only Leisure-producing buildings (as resource) somewhere in the city, but you'll also need to provide Leisure coverage in the area of the hotel!
Implementing CLM in big cities will lead to abrupt changes in their economy!
Generally, Retail demand will skyrocket (especially if the city has lots of hotels); also, since some Retail buildings have been remade into Entertainment buildings, the general Retail supply might drop a bit (although not much - most buildings were T1). Also, 2 former Offices (one T2 and another T3) have been made Cultural Leisure - and you will surely have some of them in the city. Since they all cost the city money now, you'll take a hit in your budget! Look for them via the Leisure layer and destroy some of them so they don't eat too much into your budget! From now on they won't spawn anymore into Office zones, just as the former Retail won't spawn anymore into Retail zones. However, you'll need to deal with the existing buildings.
Also, since some Leisure and many Retail buildings are now Entertainment (and thus produce Crime), you'll find that your city has quite a lot of crime now - be ready to deal with it!
Don't be scared - pausing the game will give you more than enough time to deal with the changes, if you know where to look. Once you rebalance your city, you'll be able to enjoy the full effect and new possibilities of the add-on!