A Tale Of Two: Cities – Skylines

The announcement trailer for Cities; Skylines showed the scale of the settlements and proudly proclaimed that the game could be played without an internet connection. The latter statement was the more obvious jab at SimCity but the size of the cities in Colossal Order’s upcoming project is probably more important. Even if I were playing SimCity in a hut at the end of the world, with not a whiff of wifi, I would have found myself clawing at the limits of the simulation sooner rather than later. A new trailer for Skylines shows two sides of citybuilding – one is the perfect endpoint and the other is the likely starting point.

Note: there will be a livestream of the game on the Paradox Twitch channel starting at 19:00 CEST today. Which is right now. GO!

Saying that the (literally) crappy city is my likely starting point gives me too much credit. I’m the town planner who will put the power plant right in the middle of a residential district and damn well keep it there because it seemed like a good idea at the time and I hate bulldozing things. It just seems wrong to demolish a perfectly functional building simply because it’s polluting everyone’s petunias.

I don’t think I’ve ever built an attractive city, either in a game or the real world. Generally, I’m more interested in playing around with the systems than in making anything aesthetically pleasing, which is why Milton Keynes happened. Sorry, everyone. That one’s on me.

19 Comments

  1. Granath says:

    WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT

    And this looks better than that Civitas scammer from Kickstarter a couple of years ago!

  2. Cei says:

    MORE WANT. SimCity was alright, but I felt massively constrained by the plot size. This should fill the hole in my life.

  3. Asdfreak says:

    Looks like the good parts of the new simcity(looks, curved roads…) with the features everyone actually wanted. As long as the you can build big cities and it is more complex and interessting than that one, I will look foreward to it.

  4. remon says:

    This seems so much better than Simcity on the live stream.

  5. Phantasma says:

    I’d really like to see a happy ending for that city-builder drama, that EA was so carefully crafting for us.
    The greedy Goliath tripped over his own incompetence, and now the likeable underdog slingshots directly into our hungry hearts.

    But i’m a little wary, as Paradox seem to have a habit of releasing zillions of miniscule DLC for their games, that clutter all storefronts and somewhat annoy me before i even bought the core game (at least i can now hide them, thanks to the new Steam interface).

    Still, i’m not terribly fond of the prospect buying every new car, building or traffic sign piece by piece.

    This nitpick aside, i hope it will deliver.

  6. Smashbox says:

    Ahhhh I want this game so bad!

    The question on everyone’s minds:

    When is the release date? Or even ballpark release date?

    • Lagran says:

      It’s got a tentative release schedule of Q1 2015 on Steam — also, one of the devs answered a question on DLC, the answer being there will be a lot of support (dependant on sales, natch), aka look at EUIV and CKII for examples.

      • Vandelay says:

        I love that the developer’s response to the question “How many DLC? to have the full game?” is effectively “there will be loads! It’s going to be awesome!”

        It is one of those things that could go either way though. As long as most of the DLC is cosmetic stuff and that there are still a bunch of options in the base game, I don’t really mind.

        • JMunthe says:

          Hi, I work as the brand manager for the game and have been working alot with the expansion plans.

          The main part of our expansion policy will be adding free major features to the game post-launch and also paid for expansions centered around the new features. One of the ideas there is to more explore the potentials of a city builder and really try to break some new ground.

          We will also have some auxilliary DLC but most if not all “micro-content” will be added for free. Another thing we really will continue to work with are the modding tools and expand on what is possible to add, change or fiddle with in the game.

          Finally I really would like to point out that we hope to hear from you guys what you want, we only want to make content that is relevant. So jump on our Steam community or our forums over at paradoxplaza.com so we know :)

  7. MeatMan says:

    I’ve been watching the stream, and this looks almost exactly like SimCity 5 but without all the crap and restrictions that EA forced upon it, which is good for us, of course. I wonder how EA will react when they realize just how similar Cities: Skylines is.

    Personally, I’m loving this. It seems like a giant FU to EA for totally effing up the SC franchise. :)

  8. Synesthesia says:

    This only makes me sad about maxis. Poor fellows, having your baby destroyed by a publisher like that. There will be no more simtowers, simants, simnothings. Sad days.

    • Mittens89 says:

      Did Maxis choose to go with EA? I cant remember how it all came about.

    • InfamousPotato says:

      I do wish they’d make more Simsomethings. I had a lot of fun with SimAnt, and SimTower was quite enjoyable too. Where’s my SimVelociraptor, or my SimMalevolentAI?

  9. Bureaucromancer says:

    How many of you have played Cities in Motion 2? It was alright, but this is definitely the same engine, and the game was pretty damn clunky. I’ll probably play this, but Citybound really is looking a lot more promising.

    Of course I played Simcity when I was six and ended up going to planning school because of it… I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied by a citybuilder again to be honest.

    • thelucster says:

      I actually pretty enjoyed it. It has a steep learning curve, and some of the scenarios are a bit dull (it’s basically the same maps with different win conditions, like ‘grow this city by 5%’) vs CiM 1, but other than that I liked it – if you want a very hands on management game that’s what it is. I think Colossal Order have learned from the mistakes of their previous games, so Cities: Skylines will be as good as the hype it’s gathering entails.

  10. Ejia says:

    I finally got to play the first Cities in Motion a few weeks ago. I had no idea what I was doing when I began.

    After several dozen hours of messing about I still don’t know what I’m doing, but I can apparently make some profit so that’s okay I guess. I know that that one was a transport tycoon sort of thing and this one is a city builder, but I do wonder whether it’ll be as fiddly.

  11. FriendlyFire says:

    The building tools look a bit more developed than SimCity’s, which is good because placing curved roads was a pain in that game, and forget highways.

    I’m just a bit disappointed the aesthetic is so dry and clinical. SimCity’s best part by far was just the look and feel, which Maxis always seem able to nail down. SC4 still looks awesome to this day.

  12. Rindan says:

    People freak out about the always online thing in Sim Shitty, but that really wasn’t the worst offense. That was annoying, but I could have gritted my teeth and ignored it. The worst thing about Sim Little Town was how worthlessly small the plots were and how few transportation options there were. Further, they added and utterly useless “mutli-player” component. Any idiot who spent all of 30 seconds looking at how people have modded past Sim City games would have realized the complete and absolute stupidity of what they were doing, and how far off base they were with their fans wants.

    This is what I want:
    1) Big god damn cities. This, first and foremost. Ideally, I want to be able to do massive regions. In a perfect game, you would have your NYC sized city that rolls smoothly into ‘burbs. The bigger the better.
    2) The ability to split cities in mutli-player. So, let’s say that you you are playing the greater Boston Massachussets region. You should be able to zone out Boston proper as your area to control, the other side of the river (Cambridge and Somerville) as your buddies area to control, and give the ‘burbs further out to someone else to play with. You see each other’s stuff going up, you can trade, build links, etc. Imagine the cooperative joy you could get building up an entire metro region with some friends.
    3) Transportation options. Look at the top mods for Sim City games. What are they? Freaking transportation options. Don’t make subways or commuter trains a god damn DLC 2 years later. More transportations options now. And while we are on the topic…
    4) Simulate transportation well. You can half ass and approximate everything else, but don’t screw up transportation. This is the heart of any city sim. Forget everything else until you get this right. If you screw this up, you cripple your game. Figure it out and do it right. No one gives two shits if you simulate people walking their dogs or whatever, but they will murder you if when they build a new road the sim cars don’t freaking uses it and instead stick to the road that is forever traffic jammed.

    It was utterly remarkable how far Sim City swung and missed. I really hope that this game does better.

  13. sibusisodan says:

    OK, I guess I can start getting my hopes up for this, then.