Journal #179 – Gaming Sunday 2 With Lessons to Learn

I actually thought about doing some work today but decided to play some games instead.

Cities: Skylines

The first game I decided to play was Cities: Skylines as I wanted to repair the tax deficits that my city is suffering from. But before playing, I went and get the Natural Disaster DLC for the game. I intentionally didn’t want to get it earlier on because I didn’t want to deal with the stress of seeing my city crash and burn caused by random disasters. I got it now because I want the full experience afforded by the game and to also develop certain kind of management skill or coping mechanism when facing extreme adversity.

With the Natural Disaster DLC, I think trees are very vulnerable to fire. So one of my building caught fire and it just spreads.

Oh dear, there goes my trees. I have painstakingly planted the trees almost everywhere in my city I felt was necessary. To see them all burnt… it upsets me. However, the DLC does include some new service buildings like the Fire Fighting Helicopter Depot. So the forest fires, if any, are put out by helicopters.

As I’m at what I think is late-game, my city had just finished maybe its sixth massive immigration. The baby boomers then started dying en-mass across my city.

By right, my city’s health-related services should be able to handle this mass dying but because I made a mistake of keeping the budget for the health service at 50% for the night cycle. That caused massive downstream problems. The dead bodies started pilling up and people start leaving the city en-mass too. At its worse point, my city was bleeding nearly 8000 citizen per week. Oh my goodness!

So as you can see from this statistic chart. The population change is so drastic. I went from around 290k population to 260k by the time my city started recovering. By now, I had already set the budget for health services back to 100%.

The damage is already done and I have to deal with massive amount of abandoned buildings. My industry zone suffered the worse. There just isn’t enough workers.

Look at my forestry zone.

Look at my farming zone.

When my city recovered, the population went up to 300k. Way more than before the mass exodus of people.

Of course, I’m still bleeding money. I had way too many services running concurrently. I went from 16 million in treasury to 13 million. I was bleeding 20k to 40k per week in game.

I will let this statistic chart do the talking.

As you can see, my city’s budget was several thousand more than my taxation. And notice the sharp spike in taxation? I raised the taxation for majority of the zones from 11% to 12%. But I honestly don’t know if it’s enough. The amount of micro-management is just strenuous for me but I think it helps in training me to prioritize one thing at any point in time.

This game also taught me the importance of having some kind of safety net. I have enough in my treasury to deal with the kind of losses I was dealing with. Of course, it pains me a lot (I actually felt very sad) to see all the hard earn money gone down the drain due to my own mismanagement of my own city. Same thing applies in life. You need to build up a series of safety nets that will allow you to live a relatively stress-free life.

Everspace

I got another game alongside the DLC for Cities: Skylines. Everspace caught my eye on Steam and I thought it looked like an interesting space game. I love the graphics. It’s just so beautiful.

Once I’m in game, playing for a couple of hours, I came to appreciate the game’s environment and gameplay.

The game is a roguelike, a sub-genre of games that relies on procedurally generated game world with permanent death. Every time you die in the game, you restart from the beginning. All your game progress are lost except for the upgrades you made to the aircraft. That is the only persistent thing.

In the past, I will not pick up such games because its arduous and boring. But now I think it maybe a good time to try something new, make myself uncomfortable. Playing such a game can, I hope, train me to be more careful and more intentional with what I wanted to do. One wrong move, you die and you have to start all over again. But then in real-life, you don’t always get to restart but failures and mistakes are everywhere. Lastly, I hope I can use this chance to learn how to cope with repeated failures and picking myself up again and again. Learning to live and deal with drudgery I think I can see it as a form of training my patience because I know I lack it. I always wanted results right away.

So now, who say video games are useless? If you are intentional with what you want to achieve, it can serve as a very good tool.