Simulated Urban Area – Cities: Skylines Announced

A city but inside a computer, created from calculations.

The Cities in Motion games provided a very specific challenge: some chuffing great fool has built a city all higgledy-piggledy and now you need to somehow smoosh a functional public transportation network between their many mistakes. Cities are big, sprawling, ancient, and wonderful messes that we must somehow wrangle, we uneasily negotiate with, and we try to make work. Building a city from scratch, getting to plan for efficiency, almost seems like cheating.

That’s what Cities in Motion creator Colossal Order will offer in their next game, Cities: Skylines. It’ll have players build entire urban areas from the ground-up, like some sort of simulated city.

Building, zoning, tax, policies, public transport, districts, neighbouring cities to lean on, big fancy Wonders–it’s got all that stuff. They’re really simulating the heck out of these cities wot you’ll build. They’re also throwing around phrases like “huge cities” and “modding tools”, which are a catnip-infused red flag to the disgruntled SimCity fans who are some strange chimera of a cat and a cartoon bull lacking the red-green colour blindness real bulls suffer. I am not saying that is an eloquent metaphor.

Cities: Skylines is due on Windows, Mac, and Linux in 2015, published by Paradox.


  1. devland says:

    “Play offline.”
    Hell, yeah!

  2. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Cities in Motion is one of my Steam backlog games. I tried to like it, but it was like when you walk in a local pub and everyone scowls at you. It seemed to hate me for not automatically knowing everyone / thing.

    I was going through a very short tempered frustrated phase though, and didn’t have the patience to really stick with it. It looks to be the kind of game that rewards time investment. However in the end I just drank up and went down the road for a Maccy D’s and an early trip home (Euro Truck Simulator 2).

    • Kelron says:

      Cities in Motion (at least the first game, haven’t played 2 yet) has some mechanics that seem counter-intuitive coming from Sim City/OpenTTD. Those games work very much along the lines of “build it and they will come”, whereas CiM requires you to work out where people want to go first.

      I did build some vaguely functional transport networks and had fun with it, but I never really got into it. Definitely got the impression there were deep and interesting mechanics there, for people willing to put the time in to learn them.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        I think it would benefit from some rapid way of showing you what you can achieve. I don’t really know how you would do it, but I think if I’d had some notion of “doing this and this leads to this hugely rewarding experience”, I might have stuck with it. After all I am doing it for fun, and I wasn’t sure where the payoff was meant to come in and what I would do to reach it. Maybe I will go and watch some videos on youtube.

        Ahhh the dangers of compulsive Steam sale buying. I will never actually learn.
        Curse you Valve, and your iron clad grasp of the Scarcity Principle.

    • Jac says:

      Looks like the game I wanted New Sim City to be.

      Although I hope it develops some personality/light heartedness whilst retaining the depth to help ease you in. I bounced off cities in motion for similar reasons.. it just felt a bit serious, which when combined with what feels like an overwhelming amount of things to learn = play something else.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        Heh yeah I was doing that bus mission thing, I think it was just the tutorial. I felt like an utter git for not being able to comprehend how to satisfy my denizens transport needs.


      If you mean CiM 1, the worst thing about it is that, if you play the campaign mode, the very first mission, Berlin 1914, is one of the hardest. Berlin is the largest city size, it’s the most populous city in the base game (and a higher population means more commuters), and it’s set in a time where buses are two design generations away from horse-drawn carriages, so you can’t carry anyone effectively. I’d say that if you play the tutorial mission and the Massive Munich mini-campaign first you’ll be set for the main game. (Except for how finnicky it is about building tram or metro lines that change height, but this knowledge must be forged in the fire.)

  3. neolith says:

    That looks like a game I’d enjoy.

  4. Ejia says:

    I tried Cities XL once. I went back to SC4. I haven’t tried CIM yet, but I imagine it has more bewildering transit options as SC4’s complete Network Addon Mod? I can’t even begin to figure out the RealHighways, let alone all the other trams and roads and rail networks.

    • yhancik says:

      I think this will confuse a lot of people. It’s not a follow up of CitiesXL. CitiesXL was by Monte Cristo, then Focus Interactive, not Colossal Order.

  5. RedViv says:

    The trailer is so brilliantly spoofing everything that was wrong about, but also showing appreciation to what people did right with, SimCity The New One.

    • pupsikaso says:

      Sim City The New One did something right? What would that be?

      • sabasNL says:

        Well, first of all would be the….

        You know…

      • cqdemal says:

        For all its faults, the new SimCity had loads of up-front charms that made the first few hours (or days) of play thoroughly enchanting. It nails the look, the sound, and the UI.

        It only starts to break down once you have more than a tiny, sleepy town on your hands and/or when you start to take a closer look at things, data-wise.

        • Ejia says:

          Aha! The New One isn’t actually a SimCity, but SimTown 2!

          • cqdemal says:

            I’d argue that SimTown is superior to the new SimCity since it is just simple and aimed at a younger audience instead of being fundamentally broken and trying to cover up its own faults.

        • RaveTurned says:


      • Kollega says:

        As I just realized, the main thing new SimCity did right is showing to developers that there’s a FUCKHUEG market demand for a classic city-builder without the untested bells-and-whistles and mandatory online presence. There’s already Citybound, and now this. If more games like this show up, I’ll begin to suspect we may just be having city-builder renaissance on our hands.

      • fish99 says:

        It looked pretty.

  6. Araxiel says:

    Having played with the Cities in Motion 2 editor a lot, I can definitely say that this is the same engine and uses a lot of things that were found in CiM2.

    To me, it honestly seems like they are now building an entire game around the CiM2 editor…and I think that’s great! The way transportation (both public and private) worked in CiM2 was always very well fleshed out and just fascinating.
    And hell; people actually lived in a place and had a work place to get to and they were searching the best and cheapest route to go there, either by car or by public transportation…unlike SimCity: The SimCity (2013) in which citizens were only trying to find the closest (air-distance) place to live and the closest place to work and didn’t actually had a home or a job.

    I do really hope that you can export cities from Cities: Skylines back into CiM2 and/or that Cities: Skylines has all the transportation methods found in CiM2 and/or there’s a rebate for people that own CiM2 already.

  7. sharkh20 says:

    This looks really good

  8. lee66 says:

    I love city builders, but I’ll pass on this one unless the reviews surprise me.
    I bought CIM2, and I was completely disappointed. Transport Tycoon Deluxe is many years older but still has way more functionality and less bugs, so I’m done with these guys.

  9. huldu says:

    Cities in motion was not to my liking. It failed to grab me. The only interesting city builder I’ve experienced in quite a few years, beside simcity, was city life(2008 edition). I found that to be quite good.

  10. solymer89 says:


  11. SuicideKing says:

    I want to see if it can handle a simulation of New Delhi. Needs more vehicle types for that, though! :D

  12. Cinek says:

    It still looks like a half-assed copycat. :/

  13. Koozer says:


    Also, that trailer music sounds like they took half a dozen Final Fantasy tracks and laid one on top of the other.


    I loved CiM and still play it. (Only finished the main campaign about a month ago, in fact.) But I found CiM2 to be utterly disappointing, like they fixed everthing that was wrong with CiM but also nixed everything that was right. I’ll be looking forward to this but I’m ready to be disappointed in case Colossal Order end up being a one-hit wonder.

  15. dethtoll says:

    I hope they continue to have music in the vein of Cities In Motion’s Era 4 which to date stands out as one of my favourite examples of “I like the music better than the game.”