Genre: Simulation, City Builder
Developer: Colossal Order
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Plaforms: PC, Mac, Linux (Steam)
Price: US$29.99 (Standard) / US$39.99 (Deluxe)
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Llamas: No, sadly.
Cities: Skylines is the first foray into the city building genre by Finnish developer Colossal Order. They were previously responsible for the transport management simulation franchise Cities in Motion, but have experimented with city building elements in their second game.
Cities: Skylines is heavily inspired by the SimCity model, with RCI (Residental, Commercial, and Industrial) zoning, a focus on transportation infrastructure, and no resource chain management. Your job as a mayor is to provide for your citizens, not manage a mining company. The game uses an agent-based simulation system similar to SimCity (2013), but only for things that actually need that level of simulation, i.e. not power and poop. The citizens are smarter, will take multiple routes to their destination, and will remember their own home and workplace. Cities: Skylines also features a city progression system, where new buildings, infrastructure, and services unlock when your city reaches a population threshold. The game will ship with unlimited money and all progression unlocked mods if you want to play it in sandbox, and there is a hard mode mod if things are getting too easy.
Maps start at a single 4km² tile, but adjacent map tiles can be bought in game, bringing it to a non-modded maximum of 9 tiles in any direction. This can be further expanded via modding to a theoretical maximum of 25 tiles, or 100km². Maps cannot be terraformed once in game due to the water simulation, and can be created or imported via heightmaps through the built in map editor. Here is a neat tool to create real world heightmaps, created by some Redditors.
- Extensive water simulation with different water levels, so you can flood your cities with poorly placed dams
- District creation and individual district policies, so you can divide your citizens into neat little parcels
- Natural resources and industry specializations, so you can exploit the land to your own advantage
- Actual public transportation lines with customization, so you can keep your citizens in motion
- 3 distinct terrain themes, so you can place your cities in various parts of the world
- Left hand drive option, so you can make your citizens drive on the proper side of the road
Cities: Skylines is made with player freedom in mind. It will ship with fully functional modding tools, including an asset editor, a map editor, and a in-game content manager. The editors will allow modders to create and modify in-game buildings, assets, and maps as they see fit. The game is also built with as many variables exposed as possible to facilitate modding, and has built-in APIs to compile and run mods installed in the game's mod folder. Steam Workshop is integrated with the game, and modders can share their creations though the Workshop or other external sites. Colossal Order actively encourages modding and will continuously work with modders to make the process easier and better.
Cities: Skylines Modding Thread: There's a Mod for That
- Dev Diary 1: Roads
- Dev Diary 2: Zoning
- Dev Diary 3: Natural Resources
- Dev Diary 4: Public Transport
- Dev Diary 5: Outside Connections
- Dev Diary 6: Map Editor
- Dev Diary 7: Simulation
- Dev Diary 8: Districts and Policies
- Dev Diary 9: Info Views
- Dev Diary 10: Themes
Preorder & Deluxe Edition Bonuses:
Five In-game Custom Items:
- A Carousel
- Dog Park
- Bouncy Castle
- Basketball Court
- Botanical Garden
Postcards: A batch of five building blue-print inspired postcards.
Five In-game Historical Monuments from Around the World:
- Statue of Liberty
- Eiffel Tower
- Brandenburg Gate
- Arc de Triomphe
- Grand Central Terminal
Digital Art book: See the concepts behind the buildings! The book features almost a 32 hand drawn concepts of the game various buildings and the story behind each.
Utilize the Day and Night Cycle:
The city changes during the hours of the day and affects citizen schedules. Traffic is visibly slower at night and some zoned areas do not work with full efficiency. This expansion will put you in control of managing the different aspects of the day and night cycles.
Commercial areas can specialize in leisure activities. Leisure areas are especially active during the night, but work like regular commercial areas during the day.
Commercial areas such as bars and restaurants, small marina and fishing tours on the shoreline can specialize in beach activities.
Expanded City Services:
- Criminals will now be taken to Prison from Police buildings.
- Taxi service will help citizens and tourists travel around the city.
- Cargo hubs are harbors that accept cargo trains straight to the terminal.
- International airport is a huge airport, allowing much more traffic than the previous airport and has a metro station attached to it.
- Bus terminal allows citizens to transfer to other bus lines in the terminal building.
Start here for an extensive FAQ from the developers themselves!
Q: Is this game related to SimCity / Cities XL?
A: Not in any way. SimCity is developed by EA Maxis, previously great developer of the SimCity franchise, now a shadow of its former self. Cities XL, on the other hand, was first developed by Monte Cristo, and then bought by Focus Home Interactive after the former studio shuttered due to bankruptcy. Focus then spent the last few years releasing the same game over and over again while adding nothing new and fixing little.
RIP Maxis Emeryville.
Q: Are there any multiplayer features?
A: No, it is designed from the ground up as a single player experience, with no servers to phone home or players to ruin your perfect city. However, the developers are not adverse to adding a multiplayer mode if there really is a demand for it.
Q: Can you edit / remove the starting highways / rails?
A: Yes you can, as long as they fall within your city boundries. You can also change them in the map editor.
Q: What's with the low population numbers?
A: Due to the agent simulation taking a lot of CPU processing capacity, Colossal Order has decided to lower the general population of residental buildings. There will be a hard limit of 1 millions citizens, but most people will not hit that cap through normal play.
Q: Can you disable Chirpy?
A: No, but you can disable the sound and animation. He will stay on the screen but you need to click him to see the #totallyrelevantnews.
Edit: There are now mods to move or totally remove Chirpy!
Q: Help! All my citizens are dying!
A: Pollution is the number one cause of sick citizens. Check your water supply and make sure your pumps are not drawing polluted water, and make sure your hearses can reach the dead people before they start to smell. If in doubt, it's your water.
Q: What are the system requirements?