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New screenshot demonstrates the UI

Posted 16 Sep 2014 by at 12:08 am GMT
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Another new screenshot today and this one is interesting because we get a much better look at the UI.

This time the bottom interface bar is a lot clearer and there’s also a information box for the residents of the house you can see highlighted with the semi transparent grey box. There’s plenty of information too about the inhabitants of the building such as education levels, offspring and age brackets.

Notice the “no levelup info available” message. The devs explain.

When you zone an area, you choose between low and high density (provided you already unlocked the high density zones). When some conditions are met, like educated citizens and high land value for instance (but not only), the buildings in the zone upgrade. The consequences are different for industrial, commercial and residential zones of course but overall, the buildings have better results for the city and for the citizens.

There’s no doubt there are some similarities to the SimCity interface but there’s a reason for this and that’s will be screen view. The positioning of the menu does keep the screen uncluttered and it’s much better than having any icon obstructing the top or bottom of the screen.

Regarding the big blue Twitter-like bird, well I have no idea what that is :)

Cities Skylines

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New Cities: Skylines shot shows airport in action

Posted 13 Sep 2014 by at 4:50 pm GMT
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The dev team has decided it’s time for a new Cities: Skylines screenshot, the first since Gamescom. This new image shows an airport in action but it’s hard to tell the actual size of the complex because you can’t see the end of the runway. If it was an international airport then it should take up a large chunk of space but it’s still early days and structure sizes will likely change based on what fits best in the game world.

Looking at the size of the aircraft they may seem quite large but if you put a real aircraft next to a house it would dwarf the structure so I think the scaling is not bad at all. Take a look and see what you think.

Cities: Skylines screenshot

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Eurogamer takes a look at Cities: Skylines

Posted 8 Sep 2014 by at 1:57 am GMT
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More very early Cities: Skylines impressions have been posted by Eurogamer based on the small amount of info that was released at Gamescom.

Mariina Hallikainen, Colossal’s CEO, had this to say in the item.

“It’s very dynamic, working in a small team, and I think it’s very important that everybody gets to pitch in in more than just their specific area, but the scope of the game is one of the biggest issues. Our competitors have had massive teams, massive budgets, and we don’t have that luxury. We really have to focus our efforts on certain features, make sure those are polished and then expand later.”

Much of the article covers the features we have posted about already such as lack of disasters but modders will be pleased to note that Mariina is super keen to get the modding right.

We didn’t achieve the level of modding we were hoping for in Cities in Motion 2, after having a really good modding community in Cities in Motion 1,” she concedes. “Now, we really want people to be able to decorate their city.”

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Cities Skylines Developer Posts – 5 September

Posted 6 Sep 2014 by at 1:37 am GMT
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A few posts worth pointing out that have appeared in the last few days so here’s a recap if you missed these.

Em, please kindly explain “due to Unity” – due to Unity’s limitation? Sounds like there are multiple mod tools? Very curious, and excited too.

I hope at release there will be sufficient basic tools for modders to have something to do. Actually it’s a good idea to get some diehard SC4 CXL modders at XLnation and Simtrop on board to co-dev and polish up the mod tools before release. It’ll help generate custom content faster. Note that some of them are preoccupied with SC2013 mods, some may even be under Maxis commission so…

Basically, as far as I have understood, vanilla Unity doesn’t support much modding at all. So we have built custom tools to be able to interact with more parts of the game, I can talk to CO and try to get a more specific example, otherwise we’re going to talk more about modding soon – so you’ll get your answer then ^^

We’re ready to work with our players and modders prior to launch, and will most likely do so in some way or form.

If you wanted a beta test then it sounds like it’s going to be super limited if it happens at all.

Due to development resources and the scope of the game, an open “lols just test the game some time prior to launch this is totally not a marketing campaign”-beta will most likely not happen, but as mentioned there might be a very closed technical beta some time in the future. And as mentioned – contributing to our forums and community will definitely put you on our watchlist, if not for beta then other projects, as we want to get comfortably close to you guys and gals.

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Cities: Skylines Preview on Hooked Gamers

Posted 31 Aug 2014 by at 12:17 am GMT
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The Gamescom coverage is still trickling out and Hooked Gamers took time to check out Cities: Skylines at the event. Here’s a snip…

If you had asked me the week before Gamescom that the most surprising game I would see there would be a city builder, I would have laughed. I’m not a huge fan of city builders Sim City… for the SNES is the last one I played extensively. So when I found myself watching the debut of Colossal Orders Cities: Skylines, I was surprised to find myself genuinely excited.

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Cities Skylines Developer Posts – 31 August

Posted 31 Aug 2014 by at 12:13 am GMT
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Time to catch up with the recent Cities Skylines posts that have popped up from the development team.

It’s been a couple of weeks now since the game was announced and there’s not been a massive amount of new information since the AMA session but it is coming eventually

Hopefully you can accept that we need a bit more development time before we can scale up communication and give you all the juicy details

Back to the ever popular day/night cycle topic, this time for the modding community

Given how many of them there are at CO, I’d rather they made the base game as good as they can all the way to the release date. I do want to see the night-time in the longer term though, so I hope they consider a DLC adding a full cycle and all the things that go with it. If CO are not going to do that, then I hope, I HOPE, they leave things open to the modding community to create the night-time view; I’ll help out myself. It would not be a good plan to lock it down but not release a DLC.

Note that the people I know who still play 2013 fully admit that it’s all about the looks of the city; that’s what keeps them playing. I had the impression that CO had taken on board all the lessons provided by 2013; I do hope they don’t go into myopic denial when faced with one of the most important ones.

As co_martsu mentioned in the modding thread:

“Thanks to all the suggestions! Making everything moddable is a bit tricky with Unity, since we actually have to make the tool for everything. So more specific feedback is appreciated”

Basically we have to do a lot of custom workarounds to open up for certain modding options, which means that it might (got no technical knowledge here, so I’m only speaking theoretically) be a large task to make this moddable. Or it’s super easy. Nevertheless we’ve pretty much understood how important having a living city is both from looking at earlier city builder / tycoon games but also from the immense feedback we’ve received here. Martsu also mentioned in another post that I can’t find right now that we are also looking at other ways to make the city more living.

Still, the main focus is a solid core experience, and we should not stray too far away from that as it could endanger the rest of the game. ^^

On the subject of inhabitants upgrading dwellings…

I mean sims can evolve, get better, get wealthier, therefore can afford to move to a better house which I think would add a lot to the sim.

This is, in its own way, in the game. The citizens get wealthier and upgrade.

Modders were wanting to know about models but info is still a little scarce. However CO has commented.

When it comes to the specifications for imported assets we’ll have to get back to you on that later. I would assume it’s not too hard to make the necessary adjustments in 3ds Max and then be able to import the asset to Cities: Skylines. However this should be investigated further.

What 3D model filetypes are supported?

FBX

Back to modding with answers from CO

 I second the point on ‘desynchronised’ animation of trees (and other animated items too). Randomising tree facings can also do wonders in visual richness, and cost little resource. CiM2 trees and water waves imply chronic mega storms, hopefully we get wind speed slider option for C:SL. Better still, wave speed and tree speed separate control.

Well, at the least… the confirmed Decoration Tool will allow on-the-fly placement of props and vegetations all over the city. So the possibilities are limiteless. Sculptures, planters, benches, trash bins, vending machines everywhere. 

IF, only if, Decoration Tool could pull off drag-dropping any custom textures onto any 3D “frames” in the city, billboards, posters, sign boards, ANY flat facing of any buildings, C:SL’s visual richness will simply explode.

Of course, ability to doodle or spray paint on city building walls will be great, but I think that’s just asking for too much! 

Animation spawns of animals and sims is a must. Not asking for whales or anything. But some basics. Pigeons on plazas. Dog catching stick in parks. Sims unloading goods/ screen-gazing/ window-shopping. Etc. Beyond pedestrian sims, it doesn’t seem there are plenty of animation spawns in CiM2 videos. Still, that doesn’t mean C:SL won’t come with them… Right?

We’ll see what we can do with the animations!

Comparing Cities in Motion 2 and Cities: Skylines is difficult since we updated the engine and are generally talking about two very different games, albeit both developed by us. So you don’t have to feel concerned if something was missing in CIM2, since there’s little that carries over to Cities: Skylines at this point.

The decoration/ beautification/ park tool sounds really cool indeed. Can it be used citywide beyond “park making”?

Yes, one of the coolest thing is that you can actually decorate space between buildings, place trees and props etc!

It’s still very early days for the game and we’ll have to just sit tight and wait for more information as it comes in from the CO team but it’s all sounding great so far.

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Cities Skylines on Tycoon News

Posted 26 Aug 2014 by at 3:25 am GMT
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The latest instalment if Tycoon News has been uploaded to Youtube and in this episode Cities: Skylines is talked about as you’d expect considering it’s just been announced.

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Cities Skylines Developer Posts – 21 August

Posted 23 Aug 2014 by at 4:56 am GMT
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official posts

It’s time to catch up with some of the Paradox and developer posts from the past 24 hours.

In an answer, someone from CO answered referencing SC3013 behaviour:

“In other words – if the fire truck doesn’t drive up to the fire it never gets put out. We feel it’s more important that the simulation works – that’s our first priority – second is having a good visual representation.”

So, will traffic be visible for the totality of its journey? Will it really be the case that fires may get put out by invisible appliances? I tend to agree with you that the simulation should come first, but some graphics are rather pivotal.

I’m pretty sure that even though the simulation isn’t reliant on the graphical part working that every car moving, citizen walking etc. still has a purpose.

Don’t quote me on that though, I’m just 99%.

I tend to agree here, there are some parts of the simulation that should always have visual aids, fire being one of them. I think it’s important to actually see it’s being tended to.

What does that do for a unreleased, un-preorderable game? (adding to the Steam Wishlist) Will it tell me when the release date is announced, or when I *can* preorder?

Nothing, as far as I know, but it still feels good to have there  Maybe it shows steam that people want the game so it gets extra attention? Who knows how the wizards over there work.

Good point really, this should be added to your Steam Wishlist now.

On the question of building deterioration over time…

I suppose stuff like this isn’t really DLC material (pay €5.99 for your buildings to get crappier looking), but maybe in a patch? It’s something no city-builder has ever addressed, to my knowledge… would it be so hard to do? Could each building have, say, three slightly altered models with more deterioration apparent which manifested as conditions dictated? IDK, it would be great if it could be considered for a patch at least. Would set the game apart form a lot of others.

I’m not saying it’s impossible for us to do, nor that it’s not going to be us that end up doing it. All I’m saying is that it’s a very nice modding project and I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re beat to the punch

On day and night cycles, which is being mentioned a lot…

The answer is easy: Time and focus. CO is not a big studio with a lot of manpower. They need to focus their manhours. Day/night cycle is at best a visual neat feature, but since the time of day isn’t important in a city builder, it effectively becomes a ‘nice to have’ feature. Therefore it is a lower priority than other more important features to get the basic game working.

But as having pointed out; this doesn’t mean a day/night cycle isn’t going to happen, but it probably won’t be there on release (although, I imagine it will be a free patch feature later on).

I’m relatively sure I’ve read our developers say they left the day/night cycle out of the game as it would just “flash past” due to the high actual speed of a game like this. Simulated days would be very, very short.

Nevertheless a nice visual feature to have and maybe something to be added later

Sorry to say but I just learned that there won’t even be a day-night cycle in the game, so we can pretty much leave out any weather. 

A big dissapointment if you ask me.

Weather and day/night cycle is on the wishlist though, so it’s not out of the picture just because it won’t be there at launch!  Taking into consideration we’re looking at a EUIV/CK2 similar DLC program (mixing free and paid) you might very well see it as a free addition in the future.

Day and night cycles are not that important when it comes to the gameplay but it is a good indicator of time passing as your city progresses. This is one feature I hope makes the cut eventually.

I would hope that day and night cycles come as a free addition if they are added. Colossal Order will have be very careful with regard to what they add as paid DLC. Some of the SimCity DLC really felt like a money grab, and with Cities: Skylines also having extensive modding features, it’s going to be hard for the devs to decide what’s actually released as paid DLC.

The persistence of traffic is also a concern to me. I never did like the SC4 way traffic just faded in and out as a representation of traffic. This won’t be any sort of deal breaker for me however.

If a vehicle goes somewhere it has a purpose, so it’s not just a representation but an actual action – afaik

That’s it for this run of posts, we’ll be keeping you all up to date moving forward.

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IncGamers on Cities: Skylines and how it caters for city building fans

Posted 22 Aug 2014 by at 7:47 pm GMT
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cities-skylines-1024x573The guys at IncGamers have written a lengthy article on Cities: Skylines called “Cities: Skylines aims to be a proper city builder, not just “kick SimCity in the balls” following the recent AMA. The article looks at the game’s features and how Cities: Skylines is targeting disgruntled city builder fans following the disappointment of SimCity while highlighting all the great features we can expect from Colossal Order.

Modding provided a third branch of discussion with which to beat SimCity (a game which implemented far too little modding, far too late.) The developers had quite a few things to say on that matter. Broadly speaking, mod capabilities were summarised as “map editor, asset importer, allow changes in the gameplay” and it was confirmed that custom 3D models could be created “with specially designed tools.” Apparently, if players are able to save their creations as FBX format they’ll already be good to go. Steam Workshop was mentioned as a method of sharing various mods and constructions.

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theSixthAxis Cities: Skylines Preview

Posted 22 Aug 2014 by at 3:51 pm GMT
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Cities: Skylines

Today there’s another Cities: Skylines preview from Gamescom, this time from theSixthaxis. The preview covers many of the basics including city size, utilities and zoning.  Here’s a snip:

Most impressive for me was the manner in which your city can expand, pushing up to a simply vast 36km2area, made up of your choice of nine tiles from a grid of twenty five. It’s an interesting system which means that you can play from the same map several times and pick different subsets within.

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