An Early Look At The 'Natural Disasters' Expansion For 'Cities: Skylines'

Cities: Skylines received new content in the form of snow-based maps, nightlife and stadiums, just to name a few, since its release in March 2015. However, the developers at Colossal Order aren’t done with new content just yet, and they’re currently in the early stages of the next expansion for the game titled Natural Disasters.

Lead designer Karoliina Korppoo revealed the first details about the new expansion in a developer diary on the Paradox (the game’s publisher) forums. At the moment, the developers are working on the meteor strike disaster, which has a severity rating of one to ten. At the lowest rating, the meteor will only destroy a few buildings, but at its highest level, its damage is devastating. It leaves a large crater where it landed, which changes the terrain of the affected area. On top of that, the meteor spewed fire when it landed. If you don’t contain the fire fast enough, it will spread to adjacent structures, and it could turn the city into ash.

The meteor scenario is where helicopters, another new expansion feature, come in. You can send them in to douse the flames with water. In fact, you can create a fleet of firefighting helicopters by constructing a building to house them near a water source. However, helicopters aren’t just for combating the flames. You can use them as ambulances, to search for stranded citizens in the rubble or even patrol your city from the sky.

The helicopter addition isn’t just for disaster relief. It’s also another way to reduce traffic in the game while still providing emergency help. However, Korppoo wrote that the team might need to change some of the game’s traffic logic to incorporate the use of both helicopters and land vehicles for services.

“The ground vehicles calculate their route while taking into account the traffic, but the system cannot predict how the situation will change when they are on their way. The main point of helicopters is still to help get services to the places in need fast and efficiently. Having less emergency vehicles on the roads will also lessen traffic congestion, which will then shorten the time it takes to get to an emergency. Careful balancing is needed so this doesn’t become a ‘pendulum motion’ so that traffic is slow then helicopters are taken into use, which then helps traffic, and services switch back to ground vehicles, which then clog the traffic, so they switch to helicopters, and so on.”

The meteor scenario is just a taste of what’s to come in the Natural Disasters expansion. Obviously, there are more disasters planned other than the occasional meteor, so you’ll need to stay alert and use the new services to prevent as much as damage as possible. A new developer diary on the expansion will come out every other week until its release so you can stay informed on what’s in the works from the Cities: Skylines team.

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NameCities: SkylinesNatural Disasters
DeveloperColossal OrderColossal Order
PublisherParadox InteractiveParadox Interactive
PlatformsPC, MacPC, Mac
Where To BuySteamAmazonSteam
Release DateMarch 10, 2015N/A
  • gc9
    Beware, a helicopter might fan the flames, increasing the fire... combustion gas dynamics... hazardous turbulence...
    Would a dirigible be safer?
  • falchard
    I remember in SimCity when you would use a natural disaster to clear out a part of the city.
  • ErikVinoya
    Here's hoping that fire spreading logic, where unattended fire spreads to adjacent areas, is also applied to regular fires
  • targetdrone
    SimCity style disasters would be a nice addition to the game.
  • jgiovanni
    I hope the fire won't melt ALL the steel beams.