Cities Skylines Player Spends Hundreds Of Hours Building A Near-Perfect San Francisco

Cities Skylines Player Spends Hundreds Of Hours Building A Near-Perfect San Francisco

A Cities Skylines player just debuted his crowning achievement: a spot-on 1:1 recreation of San Francisco. It’s just like the real thing, all the way down to individual neighbourhood and building placements. There’s just one teensy little problem: massive death tolls.

The ambitious build’s creator, radiativeDoctor, estimates that it took him 200-250 hours to get everything up and running. He pushed the game close to its breaking point, hitting the building limit and using mods to exceed others. He says that it incorporates around 60 mods and 1,000 assets from the game’s Steam Workshop.

It was a painstaking process. “Almost all downtown are one by one placed buildings,” radiativeDoctor said. “When the IRL buildings were not available ingame, I had to find assets that look as close as possible. And you also define zones (residential commercial, industrial) where building are growing according to the demand ingame. For the look of these growing zones, you can create collections of growable buildings to respect the architecture of a given city. I choose here mostly Brooklyn-like buildings.”

You can check out the full thing in this massive imgur gallery, but here are some highlights:

Lombard Street:

The Ferry Building:

Bay Bridge:

City Hall:

The Botanical Garden:


Cities Skylines wasn’t really made to support a city of this scope and accuracy (it is, I am being told, “a video game”), so virtual San Francisco stands on a precarious foundation. “I play in sandbox mod (unlimited money mod on) because if not, it’s impossible to build a city like this,” explained radiativeDoctor. “I have huge deathwaves, and I had to hide my landfills because they are not existing in the area I built IRL.”

The whole “people are constantly dying in massive numbers (as opposed to just becoming homeless while the uncaring eyes of Silicon Valley stare blindly toward a future of self-driving cars and child blood immortality)” thing aside, it’s a superb build. I’ve lived in the Bay Area for almost five years now, and I’m damn impressed. But, you know, it makes sense that a Bay Area resident would know his own city.

Except that radiativeDoctor isn’t from San Francisco. He’s French, and he’s only ever been to SF once. “When I came to SF for a conference two years ago, I fell in love with this city,” he explained.

Then he started pouring over Google Maps, and the rest is (very recent) history.