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Citybound Still Inbound, Latest Devlog Is Hypnotic

It should be no secret that I like devlogs, and while DevLog Watch might have gone to the column graveyard in the sky (or it might just be resting), I haven’t stopped digging around for videos of fascinating, newly in-development games. Citybound remains one of my favourites; a city-building simulation game that aims to provide the large cities and offline play that SimCity lacked. Its developer has been documenting its progress with weekly videos, and the latest shows new traffic merging behaviour for the simulation’s cars.

It’s the kind of tiny detail that makes devlogs fascinating, and its mesmerising to watch in action. The video is embedded below.

Some of you will think this is boring – it’s just little squares avoiding one another, after all – but I can’t get enough of this kind of detail about the making of games. I like to see sausage is made; the thousands of little things that need to be programmed in order to bring even simple games to life.

Videos like this are obviously great marketing for an unfinished game, purely in the sense of raising awareness, but I also wonder if people would have been more forgiving of SimCity’s obvious deficits if its engine had been publicly talked about as it was created from the ground-up, instead of being revealed and advertised after-the-fact. When Citybound is finally released, there’ll be no illusions about what it can and can’t do, and what it does well will appear all the more impressive to those who saw the effort and care that went into it firsthand via various livestreams and video updates. Is that a good thing? I’m not sure, but look at all the little squares coolly avoiding each other!

Citybound is broadly similar to its obvious inspiration: you’ll place down roads, zones and then manage the urban world that springs up. It has slight differences though in how you place those roads and zones, and the test cities shown so far are truly sprawling metropoli rather than dinky toy towns. There’s a lot more detail at the game’s FAQ, with an alpha build (previously?) planned for next month.

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Graham Smith

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